Wednesday, April 2, 2014

生前致力维护妇女工人权利 妇女权力组织总监艾琳去世 今日是马来西亚社运哀痛的一天,因为丧失一位优秀的人权斗士。

在Bersih 1.0 时,下着雨,艾琳坐在轮椅上,趋前与红头兵对峙。她对警
当示威人群准备改道时,她对团队说:”别担心,你们先走。“ 她殿后离
值得我们敬仰和学习的艾琳Irene Fernandez !
安息吧!别担心,我们会继续秉持您的斗志 继续为民主斗争!
1st Bersih rally. Raining. Face-off w scores of FRU. Irene Fernandez
wheeled to our frontline, said to the police, "You hv to go through me first!"
When we decided to change route, Irene was last to leave the line.
"Don't worry, u all go first, " she said.
维权人士艾琳(Irene Fernandez)今天因病去世,享年67岁。

a.128927543784435.22547.128808007129722/763752723635244/?type=1&theater )
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Vale Irene Fernandez - Fearless Malaysian champion of rights
Updated 1 April 2014, 13:34 AEST
One of Malaysia's most recognisable rights campaigner, Irene Fernandez has died of heart failure at the age of 67.
Vale Irene Fernandez - Fearless Malaysian champion of rights (Credit: ABC)
Tributes poured in on social media for Ms Fernandez, who founded the migrant rights NGO Tenaganita (Women's Power).
The Malay Mail described her as "a great daughter of Malaysia" but the authorities may beg to differ.
One person who knew Ms Fernandez well, is veteran campaigner Cynthia Gabriel, who's a board member of the Malaysian
human rights group Suaram.
Presenter: Sen Lam
Speakers: Cynthia Gabriel, board member of Malaysia's human rights group Suaram

LAM: Cynthia Gabriel, Irene Fernandez cared deeply about the marginalised & those who didn't have a voice, but she was also a constant irritant to the Malaysian authorities, wasn't she?
GABRIEL: Absolutely. She really gave them a very difficult time, because she was very unrelenting in the cause that she pursued and I think she was so committed, so dedicated and with so much perserverence that she was actually charged in 1995, for releasing a report on the conditions of migrant workers in detention camps. And for that, she was actually charged and found guilty in 2003 and sentenced to a year's jail. So she was more than an irritant, I think she was really a nuisance, someone that the Malaysian government wished would retire much earlier than she actually did. Knowing Irene, she just treaded on, until it was time to go.
LAM: And of course, that detention and conviction put Irene Fernandez firmly on the consciousness of the international media. But she was never really quite cowed by the Malaysian authorities, was she? She just pressed on?
GABRIEL: Absolutely. Fear was never something in her vocabulary, to be honest. She was never afraid that harassment and her personal security would be in jeopardy as a result of her work. She just kept going on, because her motivation was really to bring some amount of rights to the most vulnerable communities in Malaysia and that is the migrants, and trafficked people in the country.
LAM: And she was also investigated as recently as two years ago, for alleged sedition. Many people on social media have described Irene Fernandez as 'fearless', but did she ever confide to you, the pressures and the challenges of her work?
GABRIEL: Well, very much so, because I think both of us found ourselves in very similar situations when it comes to working for human rights and good governance in Malaysia, because generally human rights advocates are not lauded, not applauded and not respected. They're treated as a nuisance and irritants, as you mentioned just now. And so, the protection for human rights defenders and for whistle-blowers are almost nil in Malaysia.
So we're constantly hounded and constantly harassed by authorities, especially when we prick the holes, or press the right buttons which the Malaysian government often finds itself on the defensive. And so, this is a constant sharing among many activists and definitely between Irene and I, we've had many laughs also, about why we do this sometimes. And I think we've grown stronger, knowing that we have each other to actually carry on the work.
But I must say that Irene is a giant among mankind. And she really is a legend among not just Malaysians, but among global rights advocates, because she stood out, and she was no ordinary human rights activist. She stood out with her passion and her strength and her dedication, which spanned more than three decades.
LAM: And since the early days of Tenaganita and Suaram, how would you rate rights activism in Malaysia today - is it better resourced and louder, perhaps?
GABRIEL: Well, the voices for human rights defence have definitely grown bigger, and I think that is what has motivated Irene to continue, despite the fact that doctors had told her to reduce her work, to retire, and so on.
The atmosphere here, the energy and momentum, especially in the lead up to last year's election was so eletricfying that I believe Irene was even more inspired that the work to promote and protect the rights of all Malaysians, including the rights of migrant workers, was something that was very achieveable and something that we could reach, if we joined hands and if we worked on this together.
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