P Uthayakumar – Callous treatment of a human being

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Aliran
is shocked to learn that Hindraf leader P Uthayakumar who is under
ISA detention is being treated inhumanely. We find it difficult to
believe that a country that has exalted the virtues of Islam Hadari
could be so callous in the treatment of a human being – which is hard
to believe or accept.

Uthayakumar,
who is diabeti,c has been wickedly denied his daily medication even
though the Kamunting detention authorities had been informed of his
health problems. His fiancee S Indradevi had also handed
Uthayakumar’s medication to the Kamunting Detention Centre’s
administration in the belief that it would be handed over to him. But
this had not happened. She reportedly said that he had written six
letters previously to the prison’s director but the director did
not respond in any way. The medicines were prescribed by a doctor in
January.

As
a result of this gross negligence and wanton cruelty, Uthayakumar had
fallen ill and had to be hospitalised. His diabetic reading was 18.8
– something that is worrying. If he does not receive his regular
medication, he can be subjected to various related illnesses
associated with diabetes. His kidneys may be affected and his eye
sight may be in danger – just to mention a few ailments related to
diabetes. We also understand that his protein and uric levels are
dangerously high.

His
medical condition would require him to go on a strict diet but this
doesn’t seem to be the concern of the Kamunting authorities. They
do not seem to take responsibility for the welfare of a detainee
under their care. His younger brother was reported as saying that
despite his condition he was forced to consume
food which was high in sugar and starch.

Aliran
wishes to emphasise that a detainee does not forfeit his right to
medical care under whatever circumstance. As a human being, he is
entitled to receive medical attention like any other Malaysian. And
his family has a right to be notified when a detainee is
hospitalised. This is something very basic in a civilised society.

Kamunting
authorities need to be given an urgent course on human decency so
that they will react as human beings and treat others under their
care with dignity and compassion. So far their conduct has been
disgraceful, deserving condemnation from the civilised international
community.

P
Ramakrishnan

President

11
April 2008

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