14 February 2013
URGENT APPEAL: ALLOW LEGAL ACCESS TO HILMI HASIM
Mohd Hilmi Hasim was arrested last Thursday, 7 February 2013, under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) together with Yazid Sufaat and Halimah Hussein. This is the first time that arrests have been made under the new Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA), since its introduction in April 2012.
On 8th February 2013, Yazid Sufaat and Halimah Hussein were charged at the Ampang Magistrate’s Court for allegedly promoting an ideology aimed at inciting the people of Syria. Hilmi, however, continues to be held in police custody. Despite it being seven days since his arrest, he has not been charged or tried in an open court. The police have also refused to disclose where he is being held.
SOSMA, which replaced Malaysia’s previous Internal Security Act (ISA), fails to meet international human rights standards in several key ways – including by allowing police to detain suspects incommunicado for 48 hours, thus increasing the risk of torture, and by allowing detention without charge or access to the courts for up to 28 days.
Under section 5 of the law, police can hold suspects for 48 hours and can deny them access to lawyers. It is now more than 48 hours, and the police are still denying Hilmi access to legal representation even though lawyers have approached the authorities.
Denying one legal access is a form of human rights violation. It is an act which violates Article 7 and Article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) where everyone has the right to be treated equally before the law and the right to ask for legal assistance.
SUARAM condemns the police and we view that denying Hilmi the right to counsel also contravenes the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.
i. Guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Mohd Hilmi Hasim;
ii. Allow immediate legal access to Mohd Hilmi Hasim;
iii. Release or charge him in an open court ;
iv. Put an end to any acts of harassment, intimidation and any form of torture or ill treatment;
v. Ensure that in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms are in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments.
What can you do?
Urgent action needed:
Please write protest letters to the government and the police to express your strongest condemnation of the arrests of Mohd Hilmi Hasim which denies his right to be represented by lawyer.
[Letterhead of your organisation]
Re: Allow Legal Access to Mohd Hilmi Hasim Immediately
We are writing to you, once again, to express our outrage and our strongest condemnation over the arrest of Mohd Hilmi Hasim under the draconian law Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA). Denying him his right to counsel is not only unconstitutional but contravenes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well.
We demand the government to release Mohd Hilmi Hasim immediately or charge him in open court. We also urge the government to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and well-being of Mr. Mohd Hilmi Hasim and put an end to any acts of harassment, intimidation and any form of torture or ill treatment.
We strongly urge you, once again, to stop bringing shame to Malaysia with this abuse of fundamental human rights.
1. Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak,
Prime Minister of Malaysia,
Prime Minister’s Office,
Main Block, Perdana Putra Building,
Federal Government Administrative Centre,
62502 Putrajaya , MALAYSIA
2. Dato’ Seri Hishamuddin bin Tun Hussein
Minister of Home Affairs Malaysia
Blok D1 & D2, Kompleks D
Tel: 03 8886 8000/ 3000
3. Tan Sri Hasmy Agam,
Malaysian Human Rights Commission,
Level 11, Menara TH Perdana,
Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur.
4. Mr. Malick El Hadji Sow
Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
c/o Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva
8-14, avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
facsimile: +41 22 9179006