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Malaysia Detains Labour Activist: Tian Chua Jailed Now for Two Years

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9 August, 2005ICEM News release No. 36/2001

Malaysia should release labour activist Tian Chua, the 20-million-strong International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM) urged today.

HAPPIER TIMES: Tian Chua (centre) just after the ICEM had helped to secure his release in 1998. With him were the ICEM's Asia-Pacific Regional Secretary Phee Jung-sun and Peter Colley of the ICEM-affiliated Australian miners' union CFMEU.

This is not the first time that Tian has been arrested, but now an order has been issued for him to be detained without trial for two years, effective from 4 June 2001, under Malaysia's draconian Internal Security Act. He is currently in the Kamunting Detention Centre in Taiping.

Tian is "a dedicated and effective campaigner for labour rights in Asia," writes ICEM General Secretary Fred Higgs in a message to the Malaysian Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. Tian "is widely respected by his colleagues in the region and beyond," Higgs states. "Certainly, he is not an advocate of violence... If he had done anything that posed a threat to the security of Malaysia, there would presumably be sufficient evidence to charge him.

"No such charges have been brought against him in any court of law," Higgs points out. "On behalf of Tian Chua's colleagues worldwide, I therefore request you to ensure that he is released immediately and unconditionally."