Lawyers for Liberty: Sebagai tahanan politik, Anwar berhak menerima layanan lebih baik

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Anwar embraces Wan Azizah after the Federal Court verdict on 10 February 2015

Eric Paulsen menyeru pihak berkuasa supaya membebaskan Anwar untuk menjalani tahanan dalam rumah agar beliau dapat kemudahan pemulihan yang bersekuriti minima.

10 Ogos merupakan hari lahir ulangtahun Anwar Ibrahim yang ke 68 dan juga hari ke 182 beliau sebagai tahanan politik di Penjara Sungai Buloh.

Pada 10 Febuari 2015, Mahkamah Persekutuan telah menjatuhkan lima tahun hukuman penjara ke atas dakwaan yang cukup tidak munasabah iaitu sodomi, selepas satu perbicaraan dan proses rayuan yang dikecam oleh sejagat antarabangsa.

Semenjak Anwar dipecat daripada jawatannya iaitu timbalan perdana menteri pada tahun 1998, kerajaan tidak pernah berhenti menggunakan institusi awam untuk menganiayai beliau daripada memegang jawatan politik dan melaksanakan tugasan beliau sebagai ahli parlimen yang dipilih rakyat dan juga ketua pembangkang Malaysia.

Anwar telah dipukul hampir separuh mati oleh bekas ketua polis negara Rahim Noor dalam keadaan bergari dan matanya ditutup, dan selepas siri perbicaraan yang diragukan, beliau akhirnya menjalani hukuman selama enam tahun di dalam penjara sebelum ini.

Secara jelasnya, Anwar adalah merupakan seorang tahanan politik dan beliau layak untuk mendapat layanan yang sewajarnya jika dibandingkan dengan apa yang diterima sekarang.

Adalah sesuatu yang memeranjatkan dan amat dikesali, bagaimana pihak-pihak berkuasa kelihatannya bertekad untuk sebolehnya menyusahkan perjalanan hidup Anwar dan ahli keluarga beliau dengan mengenakan peraturan-peraturan penjara yang paling ketat dan keterlaluan. Walhal sebenarnya terdapat banyak ruang budi bicara untuk memudahkan urusan dengan lebih berperikemanusiaan dan pendekatan yang lebih bertamadun.

Sebagai contoh, ahli keluarga beliau tidak dibenarkan untuk bersentuhan secara fizikal dengan beliau semasa lawatan Hari Raya baru-baru ini, dan mereka juga tidak dibenarkan untuk membawa makanan dari luar kepada beliau. Terdapat juga larangan terhadap bilangan para ahli keluarga yang boleh melawat beliau – abang, kakak dan ibu tiri beliau yang berkerusi roda – telah tidak dibenarkan melawat selepas lama menunggu.

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Adakah layanan kejam dan tidak berperikemanusiaan sebegitu diperlukan? Apakah kemudaratan yang dibimbangkan jika Anwar dibenarkan untuk berjumpa dan bersentuhan dengan ahli keluarga beliau dan menjamah sedikit juadah hari raya?

Anwar juga diasingkan daripada banduan-banduan yang lain dan boleh dikatakan berada dalam kurungan berasingan.

Beliau sentiasa bermasalah dalam mengakses rawatan perubatan yang sewajarnya serta bertepatan dengan masa kerana pihak-pihak berwajib sentiasa melengahkan atau tidak mengendahkan aduan-aduan beliau. Oleh yang demikian, ini telah melemahkan keadaan beliau kerana kecederaan serius yang dialami di bahu kanan yang mana telah didiagnosis dengan chronic rotator cuff injury di bahu kanan.

Hanya beberapa kali sebelum ini Anwar telah dibawa ke hospital selepas penangguhan yang lama; beliau menjalani ujian perubatan dan rawatan dengan tergesa-gesa, dan setelah itu segera dikembalikan ke penjara.

Beliau sekarang bergantung kepada ubat penahan sakit dan tidak mendapat sebarang akses untuk rawatan fisioterapi sebagaimana yang diperlukan. Ini kerana tidak ada sebarang kemudahan sedemikian di dalam penjara dan beliau juga tidak dibawa ke hospital untuk menerima rawatan secara berkala.

Oleh itu, kami menyeru pihak berkuasa supaya membebaskan Anwar untuk menjalani tahanan dalam rumah agar beliau dapat menghabiskan baki hukuman beliau dalam kemudahan pemulihan yang bersekuriti minimum sepertimana tahanan politik lain seperti Aung Sang Suu Kyi dan Nelson Mandela (dalam 18 bulan terakhir masa penahanannya).


As prisoner of conscience, Anwar deserves better treatment

Eric Paulsen calls upon the authorities to release Anwar and place him under house arrest so that he can spend the rest of his sentence in a minimum security correctional facility.

Today is Anwar Ibrahim’s 68th birthday and the 182nd day spent as a prisoner of conscience in Sungai Buloh Prison.

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On 10 February 2015, the Federal Court sentenced him to five years’ imprisonment for a preposterous sodomy charge after a trial and appeal process that was universally condemned.

Ever since Anwar was sacked as Deputy Prime Minister in 1998, the government has continuously misused state institutions to persecute him from holding political office and from fulfilling his elected role as a member of parliament and leader of the opposition. Anwar was beaten to within an inch of his life by then Inspector General of Police Rahim Noor while handcuffed and blindfolded and after a series of sham trials, he ultimately spent six years in jail.

Let us be clear, Anwar is a prisoner of conscience and he deserves better treatment than what he is receiving in prison.

It is quite shocking and deplorable how the authorities seem bent on making life as difficult as possible for Anwar and his family members by applying the prison rules in a most rigid and overzealous manner when there is wide discretion for a more humane and civilised approach.

For example, Anwar’s family members were not allowed any physical contact with him during the recent Hari Raya visit and they were also not allowed to bring any outside food for him. There were also restrictions on the number of family members who could visit him – his brother, his sister and his step-mother, who is wheelchair-bound, were made to wait and were finally turned away.

Is such cruel and inhumane treatment necessary? What possible harm could come if Anwar was allowed to see and touch his family members and enjoy some Hari Raya food?

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Anwar is also kept separated from other prisoners and is virtually in solitary confinement.

He has great difficulties in accessing proper and timely medical treatment as the authorities frequently delay or ignore his complaints thus further debilitating him as he is suffering from a serious right shoulder injury, which was diagnosed as chronic rotator cuff injury of the right shoulder.

The few times Anwar was brought to the hospital after long delays, he was rushed through the medical testsand treatment, and promptly returned to prison. He is now on painkillers and unable to access the intensive physiotherapy as required, as there is no such facility in prison; nor is he brought to the hospital on a regular basis for treatment.

We therefore call upon the authorities to release Anwar on house arrest so that he can spend the rest of his sentence in a minimum security correctional facility like various other prisoners of conscience such as Aung Ang Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela (in the last 18 months of his incarceration).

Eric Paulsen ialah pengarah eksekutif Lawyers for Liberty

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