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Malaysian human rights commission rejects probe into death of anti-logging tribesman

Source:  Copyright 2008, Associated Press
Date:  February 14, 2008
Byline:  Julia Zappei
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Malaysia's human rights commission has turned down a demand by tribespeople from the remote jungles of Borneo island to investigate the death of a tribal elder who had campaigned against commercial logging.

The government's Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, known by the Malay acronym Suhakam, said Wednesday that it would let police carry out the investigation into the death of Kelesau Naan, 70, to determine if he was murdered, as alleged by some villagers.

Naan, who spearheaded the Penan tribe's fight against loggers near Long Kerong village in Sarawak state, disappeared in October while on a solo hunting trip. Villagers found his skeletal remains and some of his belongings near a river in December.

Villagers say some of his bones were broken, leading them to suspect he was assaulted.

Human rights commissioner Mohamad Hirman Ritom said the commission would discuss next week whether to send its own ...

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