Malaysiakini News

Filipino Human Rights Commission head waits 6 hours to gain entry

Andrew Ong  |  Published:  |  Modified:

The chairperson of the Philippines Human Rights Commission (CHR) Jose Luis Martin C Gascon was denied entry by Malaysian authorities for about six hours.

Gascon, a well-known Filipino human rights activist, had arrived in Malaysia this evening. He is scheduled to address a conference on the state of democracy in Southeast Asia on Sunday.

The circumstances of his troubles with the immigration department was uncertain. He did not experience such complications during his visit to Kuala Lumpur last October. 

According to Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) member Jerald Joseph, Gascon touched down at KLIA at 5.30pm and spent his time in the transit area.

"We are disappointed that he was initially denied entry. We are will try to gather more information on the situation," Joseph said when contacted.

The conference, titled "Democracy in Southeast Asia: Achievements, Challenges and the Road Ahead," is organised by the Suhakam and the Kofi Annan Foundation.

According to the conference agenda, Gascon was listed as a panelist for the session titled "Key role of CSOs in ensuring respect for political rights including elections."

Other speakers at the session at Integrity Institute Malaysia president Anis Yusal Yusoff and Bersih 2.0 deputy chairperson Shahrul Aman Mohd Saari. The session will be moderated by Myanmar's Center for Diversity and National Harmony head Kyaw Yin Hlaing.

The conference will host regional big regional names, such as former Asean secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan, Gusdurian Network Indonesia founder Alissa Wahid, Indonesian Election Commission head Hasyim Asy'ari, and former UN under-secretary-general Noeleen Heyzer, among others.

It will be launched by former Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono while former Belgium president Yves Leterme will also be delivering opening remarks.

The two-day conference will begin tomorrow and will be held in Kuala Lumpur.

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