Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) strongly condemn the use of all forms of torture by any individuals, organizations and governments. The use of torture clearly contravenes all recognized international human rights principles and international law.
The appalling revelations brought forward by lawyers and SOSMA detainee is deplorable to say the least. In a world where the use of torture is internationally condemned and rejected, the possibility where that Government of Malaysia is unofficially or inadvertently complicit in the use of torture must be investigated and ascertained.
While reports that torture was systematically used against Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA) detainees were prevalent, such practices were thought to be a relic of the past with the abolishment of the ISA. The reports submitted by the lawyers and SOSMA detainees makes it clear that the use of torture is not a relic of a past but a tool of the present!
Acknowledging the severe emotional and physical trauma that torture would inflict upon individuals and the implications to the integrity of the criminal justice system of Malaysia, SUARAM calls upon Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) and the Enforcement Agencies Integrity Commission (EAIC) to conduct immediate investigations into the alleged use of torture by the authorities. These revelations also suggest that the existing mechanism for accountability and compliance is insufficient and that the IPCMC is very much needed for accountability and compliance with international standards.
SUARAM demand that the Government of Malaysia establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the use of torture in Malaysia and issue a clear statement condemning the use of torture by any enforcement agencies.
Further, SUARAM believes that the use of torture can only take place in the absence of judicial oversight and transparent investigation procedures. For the use of torture to be put to an end, laws such the Special Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA), Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA), Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (POTA) and Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985 (DDA) that gives room for torture to take place must be abolished!
Lastly, SUARAM demand that the Government of Malaysia to sign and ratify the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT).
Failure to do so would imply that the Government of Malaysia officially condones and uphold the use of torture in Malaysia contrary to its obligations under international human rights and international law!