ISA is not the answer to racial harmony

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Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI), a coalition of 83 non-governmental organizations, trade unions and political parties, condemns the statement form Gerakan Women’s wing chief Tan Lian Hoe to detain Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Ahmad Ismail under  the Internal Security Act (ISA).

 

The ISA provides for indefinite detention without trial and violates personal liberty, the right to trial, the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty and the right to legal counsel. It is a piece of legislation that should not be used to threaten anyone in any circumstances.

GMI is in the position not to support any racial remarks made by Ahmad Ismail. In fact we call upon the police to investigate the allegation made on him and let rule of law takes its place. A free and fair trial should decide any actions on Ahmad Ismail. ISA is not the solution for this matter.

GMI calls for the abolition of the ISA and all forms of detention without trial. ISA detainee’s in the Kamunting detention camp should be released or charged in open court immediately.

10 September 2008

ISA detainee Sanjeev Kumar released

Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) has been informed that Sanjeev Kumar was released from his detention today, 9 September 2008. He was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for allegedly being a foreign spy.

Sanjeev Kumar was arrested under ISA on 28 July 2007 and was sent to Kamunting Detention Camp on the 22 of September 2007. He was also given a detention order for two years during the said period.

GMI welcomes the release of Sanjeev Kumar. We believe that this was the result of the persistent and continuous campaigns to demand for the abolition of the ISA.  The police report made by GMI and his wife on 20th May, handover Memorandum to Malaysian Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM) on 4th Jun and recent campaign launched with Amnesty International were main factors that catalyzed the process of his release.

The Government has yet to issue any official statement on Sanjeev Kumar’s release. GMI received a call from one of his family members and was informed that Sanjeev Kumar has been released but under Restricted Residence Act (RRA). GMI deplores the government’s decision to impose Restricted Residence Order on him. GMI strongly urges the government to lift the Restricted Residence Order that is imposed on the youth, who has been detained without trial for more than a year.

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During the detainee’s period of detention, he was subjected to all kinds of torture and abuse by the Special Branch (SB) of the police. Since his first day in Kamunting, he had complained of headaches and numbness in his left hand. The detainee had also frequently complained that his left hand and leg were not functioning properly. Despite his complaints, he did not receive sufficient medical treatment when he was sent to Kamunting.

On 11 April 2008, Sanjeev Kumar was sent to Klinik Kesihatan (medical clinic), located in the camp itself. However, the pain was too serious causing him to be sent to Taiping Hospital for treatment.  Once he arrived at the hospital, he once again was deprived of medical attention. On 18 April 2008 , Sanjeev was discharged from hospital. However, he received no treatment, and was instead transferred to a psychiatric hospital. No explanation was given for this decision. Medical tests were carried out while he was in the psychiatric hospital, but neither he nor his relatives or lawyer have been notified of the results of these tests, nor of any diagnosis. Unfortunately, he was discharged with a wheelchair as he was pronounced paralyzed as he was unable to function his left leg and hand.

GMI reiterates that punishing or detaining people without giving them any opportunity to defend themselves is barbaric. Uncivilised laws that permit detention without trial are goes against the principles of democracy and should be abolished. Therefore GMI strongly calls on:

   1. The government to give full medical examination and all necessary treatment and care immediately to Sanjeev Kumar and bear his medical expenses;
   2. The authorities to conduct an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into allegations that Sanjeev Kumar was tortured at the Federal Police Headquarters, with the results made public and those responsible brought to justice;
   3. The government to release or charge all the ISA detainees from Kamunting; and
   4. The government to abolish the draconian ISA immediately.

9 September 2008

ISA threat on RPK uncalled for and shameful

Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) strongly condemns the statement by the Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar that the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) may be used against “Malaysia-Today” blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin for his comments on the blog which allegedly insulted Islam and Prophet Muhammad. (Bernama, 5/9/2008, ISA Can Be Used on Raja Petra, says Syed Hamid).

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The threat of the use of the ISA is uncalled for and shameful. The draconian law that allows for indefinite detention without trial and perpetuates the practice of torture is in direct contravention of human rights and should have been abolished long ago. It is  evident that the government still did not accept the clear message from the people at the recent general election on March 8.

There are enough laws in the country to tackle the issues. If what Raja Petra Kamaruddin did was an offence, then charge him and prove the charges in court.

History of the ISA has shown that the draconian law is often used when the main ruling party, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), is challenged of its grip on power or faced internal crisis. Since 1960 when the ISA was enacted, more than 10,000 people had been detained with most of them being dissidents from opposition parties, social movements and civil society organizations.

GMI reiterates that the ISA and all other laws that provides for detention without trial must be abolished. All ISA detainees must be released or charged in an open court immediately.

8 September 2008

4 released but 6 more detained without trial

Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) was informed that four Indonesian detainees who were detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for alleged links to international militant Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and Darul Islam (DI) were released on 4th August 2008 and sent back to Indonesia on 15th August. They are:

   1. Shahrial Sirin (Alleged JI): six -year detainee
   2. Abdullah Minyak Silam (Alleged JI): six- year detainee
   3. Zainuddin Suharno (Alleged DI):  two- year detainee
   4. Jaki Hamid (Alleged DI):  two- year detainee

Shahrial Sirin (Alleged JI) and Abdullah Minyak Silam (Alleged JI) were arrested in 2002 for suspected links to terror groups. They served 6 years of detention in Kamunting without trial. The other two were arrested in 2006 for suspected links with terror and robbery.

GMI welcomes the release of the four as they have not been proven guilty by any open court in Malaysia . We believe that the release of the four is the results of the persistent and continuous campaigns to demand for the abolition of the ISA.  The recently launched “Free 6-years ISA detainees” campaign (Kempen Bebaskan Tahanan 6-tahun ISA) also is one of the main factors that catalyzed the process of their release.

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Even though no official statement has been issued by the Government before the issuance of this statement, GMI made a call to one of the family members and was informed that the four of them have been released and deported back to Indonesia .

With the deportation of the four their families now face a serious problem here in Malaysia . The detainees have waited for such a long time to reunite with their family, but the government’s action of deporting them back to Indonesia is simply inhumane and unforgivable. The after effect is most probably felt by Shahrial and his family who lost their eldest daughter, Aina Mardhiah on 3rd July 2008. GMI strongly urges the authorities to lift the deportation Order that is imposed on them, who have already suffered from detention without trial for many years.

Beside news of the release, GMI is strongly condemns the new arrest made by the government under the ISA. GMI was informed that 6 new detainees were arrested in the month of July 2008. The details of the detainees are not available at the moment but will be made available as and when more information is acquired. GMI managed to get their names from the lawyers who visited Kamunting Camp recently. The detainees are:

i)          Shadul Islam (ATP 2698/2008)

ii)         Abdul Sathar Mohammad Sarjoon (ATP 2699/2008)

iii)         Faycal Mamdouh (ATP 2700/2008)

iv)        Mahamad Nakhrakhel (ATP 2701/2008)

v)         Muhammad Shuaib Hazrat Bilal   (ATP 2702/2008)

vi)        Muhammad Zahid Haji Zahir Shah   (ATP 2703/2008)

GMI reiterates that punishing or detaining people without giving them any opportunity to defend themselves is barbaric. Uncivilized laws that permit detention without trial are goes against the principles of democracy and should be abolished.

All ISA detainees should be released or be charged in the courts. Even if there is only one ISA detainee left, the struggle will still continue.

Abolish ISA!

Release All ISA Detainees!

Close Down Kamunting Detention Camp!

Released By,

Nalini.E
Secretariat
28 August 2008

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