GERAKAN MANSUHKAN ISA
(ABOLISH ISA MOVEMENT)
4 August 2011
Eight Immigration Officers Released from ISA, What about the Rest?
Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) welcomes the released of three ISA detainees who were released on 2 August 2011 while the remaining five will be released on Friday. The eight were detained in October last year for alleged involvement in human trafficking.
GMI welcomes the release of the eight as they have not been proven guilty by any open court in Malaysia. We believe that the release of the detainees is the result of the persistent and continuous campaigns to demand for the abolition of the ISA. However, we could not escape the thought of the motive and the timing of the release i.e. in commemoration of 51 years of ISA on 1st August 2011 or the looming GE13.
The release of the eight although welcomed, should not be seen as a substantial improvement in the state of human rights with regards to the use of the ISA by the government. More than 30 detainees are still currently being detained under the ISA. We urge the government to release all remaining ISA detainees and to abolish the Act and all other laws which permit detention without trial.
Although the detainees were released from detention and claimed that they regretted, we believe that this admission is a sign of compulsion. Such incidents are not uncommon to GMI where newly released prisoners said that they regretted and thanked the Malaysian government. The question to ask is, can the government restore the freedom the detainees lost for the ten months?
GMI reiterates that punishing or detaining people without giving them any opportunity to defend themselves is barbaric. Uncivilized laws that permit detention without trial go against the principles of democracy and should be abolished. In fact the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners Adopted by the First United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, held at Geneva in 1955, and approved by the Economic and Social Council by its resolutions under rule 95 clearly said that,
“Without prejudice to the provisions of article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, persons arrested or imprisoned without charge shall be accorded the same protection as that accorded under part I and part II, section C. Relevant provisions of part II, section A, shall likewise be applicable where their application may be conducive to the benefit of this special group of persons in custody, provided that no measures shall be taken implying that re-education or rehabilitation is in any way appropriate to persons not convicted of any criminal offence”
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. 51 years of ISA is enough! It’s time to abolish all the laws that allows detention without trial.
Release All ISA Detainees!
Close Down Kamunting Detention Camp!