Since 1 March 2011, the Malaysian authorities have arrested some 54 members of the Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) and its sister organisation, the Human Rights Party in what appears to be a widespread campaign of repression and judicial harassment against the organisations and their members.
HINDRAF is a grassroots-based human rights advocacy group working on promoting the rights of the Hindu and other marginalised communities in Malaysia.
The 54 individuals, who have all been released on bail, are charged with taking part in an “illegal organisation”, as a result of the authorities' continued refusal to process the organisation's request for registration. Furthermore, the National Secretary of HINDRAF, Mr P Ramesh, was also charged with possession of banners and documents that further the cause of HINDRAF, based on the aforementioned lack of legal recognition granted to the organisation.
HINDRAF was founded in December 2005 in order to lobby for the rights and religious freedoms of minority non-Muslims in Malaysia.