Freedom of Expression is for All!

SUARAM regrets the disruption made by the Pro-ISA protesters at the Anti ISA Forum in Penang yesterday. The forum was organised by Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) Penang in conjunction with 50 years of Internal Security Act (ISA) in Malaysia since 1960.

SUARAM do respect freedom of expression and assembly by the Pro ISA protesters but SUARAM is also expecting a mutual understanding and respects from the Pro ISA protesters on the views and expression of the others. SUARAM believes that everyone in a democratic society should be given an opportunity to discuss any issues in a civil and proper manner and in respect.

We also learnt that, the forum moderator Rozaimin Elias was slapped by one of the protestors when he tried to prevent them from advancing onto the stage. The assault on Rozaimin is unnecessary and it could be avoided if the police took control on the situation. SUARAM condemn the violent act and regrets the non action on part of the police to control the situation.

SUARAM also would like to register its protest on a statement made by the Penang State police Chief Deputy Comm Datuk Wira Ayub Yaakob who has said the organisers did not apply for a police permit to hold the event.

We view the statement from the State Chief is irresponsible as the police is duty bound to protect the rights of all people in any circumstances. Datuk Wira’s statements exposes that his comments are merely to cover up the weaknesses of the police when they failed to control the situation. We wants to remind the Police Chief that, under the Article 10 of Federal Constitution everyone has rights express their views. We urged the police to play a neutral role rather than being biased towards the Pro ISA protesters.

SUARAM is of the view that the ISA is an Act which allows detention without trial as a serious violation of fundamental human rights and the draconian act must be repealed.

Released by,
Nalini.E
SUARAM Coordinator

ABOLISH ISA: THE TOOL OF INJUSTICE AND POLITICAL ARBITRARINESS!

PRESS STATEMENT: 27TH OCTOBER 2010

27th October 2010, marks the 23rd Anniversary of one of the countries biggest political crackdown; the infamous Operasi Lalang, The Operasi Lalang saw the arbitrary arrests and detention without trial of 106 persons ranging from the Parliament Opposition Leader and members of Parliament to trade unionists, Chinese education movement leaders and non-governmental organization (NGO) activists who were working on the issues of environmental protection, women, workers rights etc under the Internal Security Act (ISA). Other victims of the Operation were two dailies, The Star and the Sin Chew Jit Poh and two weeklies, The Sunday Star and Watan which had their the publishing licenses revoked.

Until today, the 1987 mass arrest remains as the pillar of political arbitrariness and injustice in a democratic nation that have achieved its independence 53 years ago. It’s an affront to our democracy and independence that ISA were engineered by the colonial masters continues to be used on its citizens and people for their legitimate political and dissent activities.

This year mark the 50th year of the draconian act being in power with the scope of the ISA broadened and the list of its “victims” has grown ever longer. Over the years the ISA was amended 19 times with every amendment further diluting the fundamental rights and incrementally extended Executive powers and judicial safeguards. In 1989 the government has amended Section 8B of the ISA to deny legitimate legal redress for a Judicial Review. The ISA also since then have been used to arbitrarily detain people said to be members of alleged religious groups, students, professionals, politicians, political and human rights activists and even journalists. The 1987 Operasi Lalang marks the significance of being the single most operation that have detained and incarcerated people from the full spectrum of the political citizens of the country.

The ISA has since become a convenient political tool to clampdown on dissent where the Executive continues to enjoy permanent, unfettered discretion to determine, according to their subjective interpretation on any activity and person as a potential threat to national security and of their detention. The unjust law has also created a climate of impunity and abuse of power with arbitrary powers extended to the police to arrest, detain and torture any person without being subjected to any accountability or judicial check and balance. The ISA in its investigation have often clearly contravened international humanitarian standards and religious principles of humane treatment of a person with dignity.

As such the ISA is contrary to fundamental principles of international law, including the right to liberty of the person, to freedom from arbitrary arrest, to be informed of the reasons for arrest, to the presumption of innocence, and to a fair and open trial in a court of law. The ISA is also prejudicial to development of human rights and democracy with its wider, intimidating effect on civil society, and a marked influence on the nature of political participation, democracy and accountability in Malaysia .

It’s a shame that despite 53 years of Independence from the British Colonial Masters, the government continue to defend the ISA and turning the blind eye on the critics and calls made by many Malaysian to repeal this draconian law. The act reveals the lack of political will to address the view of the people and its commitment to human rights and democracy. This is seen with the futile and failing effort by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to review and amend the ISA that remain a mystery and merely as a political gesture.

SUARAM is of the view that all detention-without-trial laws are a gross human rights violation and goes against the spirit of the Federal Constitution, as well as contravene Articles 9, 10 and 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1981). We on this 50the Anniversary of Operasi Lalang hereby demand that the government:

1. Abolish all existing unjust laws such as the ISA, EO (Emergency Ordinance), DDA (Dangerous Drugs Act), and the RRA (Restricted Residence Act AND to release, or charge all those detained under this laws in an open court) with an immediate effect.

2. Close down immediately all detention centres for detainees held without trial, such as Kamunting and Simpang Renggam.

4. Awards compensation to all those who have been detained without trial, for being unjustly deprived of their liberty and denied their due rights.

5. Makes a public apology to all such detainees, past and present, and compensates them for the injustice, abuse and suffering inflicted on them during and as a result of their detention.

6. Investigates all complaints and cases of abuse, torture, inhuman treatment and abuse of power perpetrated on any detainees, past or present; prosecutes those responsible and sets up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission as proposed by the Royal Commission on Police in 2005.

7. Recognizes respects and restores the proper powers of the judiciary, as an independent body, to provide a check and balance on the power of the police and executive, and repeals all laws which have removed such judicial oversight.

Released By,

Nalini.E

SUARAM Coordinator

ISA DETAINEE MOHD FADZULLAH HAS BEEN SENT TO KAMUNTING UNDER A TWO YEAR DETENTION ORDER

SUARA RAKYAT MALAYSIA GERAKAN MANSUHKAN ISA

PRESS STATEMENT: 13 SEPTEMBER 2010

Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) and Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) strongly condemn the two-year detention order of Mohamad Fadzullah Bin Abdul Razak made by the Home Minister. Fadzullah was transferred to Kamunting on 2nd September 2010 without the knowledge of his family and lawyers. His lawyers had already informed Bukit Aman on their representation on behalf of Fadzullah.

Fadzullah, 28, was arrested under the ISA on 15th July 2010. He is alleged to be involved in international terrorist networking. But these allegations have not been proved in any open court in Malaysia since the day he was detained under the ISA. In fact, we are doubtful that these allegations would even withstand the test of an open and independent trial.

The Executive order for a two year detention without trial is a gross travesty of justice. Fadzullah has been denied basic human rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, namely the right to a fair trial, the right to defend oneself in an open and independent court, the right to legal counsel and the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

We believe the invocation of Section 8 of the ISA for a two-year detention period was calculated to impede the lawyers’ effort to file a writ of habeas corpus to challenge Fadzullah initial detention under the Section 73(1) of the ISA. He has not given an opportunity to question his detention under the ISA. This is an old tactic and modus operandi has been used in many cases to ensure that any writ for habeas corpus will be deemed academic since the detainee has been detained under a different Section of the law and by a different arm of the executive government.

On a related development, GMI and SUARAM have been informed that Sheikh Abdullah Sheikh Junaidi (70), a Malaysian who was detained on 11th August, has been released from the detention on 25th of August. He had been arrested together with Mustawan Ahbab (34), an Indonesian, and Samsul Hamidi (34), a Malaysian; both of whom are still serving their 60 days detention under Section 73(1) of the ISA.

Although GMI and SUARAM welcome the release, we view this as yet another selective release and stand strongly with our principal value that no one should be detained under the ISA or any form of detention without trial laws.

Clearly, despite the recent appointment of Malaysia to the United Nations Human Rights Council and the pledge by the Malaysian government to promote and protect human rights vis a vie its plans to amend the ISA remains mere rhetoric and empty promises to the Malaysian Rakyat and the international community. The people of Malaysia are against the ISA, torture and other forms of human rights violations. We demand that the government abolish the ISA and put an end to violations of the fundamental rights of human beings!

Released by,
Nalini.E
GMI Secretariat and SUARAM Coordinator

Memorandum SUHAKAM

SUARA RAKYAT MALAYSIA(SUARAM) & GERAKAN MANSUHKAN ISA (GMI)
ADUAN SALAHGUNA KUASA POLIS DAN TUNTUTAN SATU PENYIASATAN TERBUKA TERHADAP PIHAK POLIS.

12 OGOS 2010

Kami dari SUARAM (Suara Rakyat Malaysia) bersama dengan Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) dan para tahanan yang ditahan pada 1 Ogos 2010 lalu ingin membuat aduan pada hari ini terhadap pasukan Polis DiRaja Malaysia (PDRM) yang dipimpin oleh Ketua Polis Negara Tan Sri Musa Hassan kerana telah menyalahgunakan pasukan polis dan Light Strike Force (LSF) pada 1 Ogos 2010 dalam satu program Vigil yang aman dan teratur.

1.0 ANTI ISA VIGIL SEMPENA 50 TAHUN ISA
Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) telah mengumumkan kepada media bahawa satu program Vigil Lilin serentak akan diadakan pada 1 Ogos 2010 sempena 50 tahun ISA[1]. GMI bersama dengan kumpulan NGO yang lain seperti SUARAM, Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT), Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM), Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), Parti Islam Semalaysia (PAS), Jamaah Islah Malaysia (JIM), Student Democratic Movement (DEMA) dan Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) telah membuat perancangan untuk mengadakan program tersebut pada 1 Ogos 2010, pukul 8.00 malam serentak di beberapa tempat di Malaysia sejak bulan Jun yang lalu.

Vigil Anti ISA serentak yang diadakan di Petaling Jaya (Selangor), Pulau Pinang, Perak, Kedah, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Johor, Sabah dan Sarawak adalah untuk menuntut agar kerajaan mansuhkan ISA dengan segera, bukan hanya pinda, kerana ia adalah sebuah akta yang membenarkan penahanan tanpa bicara dan ianya mencabuli hak asasi manusia untuk mendapat perbicaraan yang adil.

2.0 POLIS: PEMENANG ANUGERAH PENCABUL HAK ASASI RAKYAT
Sempena dengan 50 tahun ISA, GMI telah memaklumkan tentang program ini kepada Jawatankuasa Hak Asasi Manusia, Majlis Peguam Malaysia; Pusat Bantuan Guaman; SUHAKAM dan juga kepada Ketua Polis Negara, Tan Sri Musa Hassan. (Sila Lihat Lampiran 1)
Pada 1 Ogos Timbalan Ketua Polis Negara, Tan Sri Ismail Omar telah memberi amaran kepada orang awam supaya jangan menyertai[2] Vigil aman ini walaupun notis pemberitahuan sudah diberikan kepada KPN pada 28 Julai 2010. Malah, semua tempat yang dirancang untuk diadakan Vigil telah disekat oleh pihak Polis dengan sepenuhnya walaupun kebanyakan tempat-tempat tersebut adalah tempat persendirian. Misalnya, di Padang Timur Petaling Jaya, pihak polis telah menutup keseluruhan padang tersebut walaupun pihak penganjur mempunyai permit yang diluluskan oleh Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MBPJ) (Lihat lampiran 2). Amaran dan perbuatan menutup jalanraya dan tempat pertemuan adalah sesuatu yang tidak masuk akal dan sekaligus melanggari hak asasi rakyat untuk berkumpul secara aman seperti yang termaktub dalam Artikel 10, Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Pada jam 8.00 malam 1 Ogos, kebanyakan negeri telah menghadapi intimidasi yang tinggi daripada pihak Polis. Namun, ”Pemenang/Champion” sebenar pencabulan Hak Asasi pada hari tersebut adalah OCPD Petaling Jaya, ASP Arjunaidi Mohamed. Beliau telah menunjukkan sikap yang tidak profesional dalam menangani situasi pada hari tersebut. Beliau[3] langsung tidak memberikan masa yang mencukupi untuk memberikan laluan kepada pihak penganjur untuk beredar secara aman. Malah, beliau sebenarnya tidak tahu proses untuk menyuraikan para peserta. Beliau menggunakan LSF untuk menyuraikan para peserta yang berada dalam keadaan aman.

Walaupun Majlis Peguam Malaysia dan SUHAKAM berada di sana sebagai pemantau namun pihak Polis tidak mempunyai tanggungjawab dan kepekaan terhadap hak asasi manusia.

2.1 ANTARA KESALAHAN YANG DILAKUKAN OLEH PIHAK POLIS DAN SALAH DI SISI HAK ASASI MANUSIA ADALAH SEPERTI BERIKUT:

1. Kebanyakan rakyat yang hadir telah dikasari, ada yang dipukul, dicederakan dan kekerasan digunakan serta seramai 39 orang ditangkap di seluruh negara tanpa sebab yang munasabah. Insiden penangkapan ini berlaku di Petaling Jaya[4], Kelantan dan Pulau Pinang[5].

2. Ini termasuk dua juvana di bawah umur (di Petaling Jaya dan Kelantan) ditahan selama beberapa jam di balai Polis.

3. Membuat tangkapan yang berniat jahat seperti menahan mereka yang memakai baju t-shirt berwarna merah dan hitam.

4. Salahguna kuasa oleh pihak polis yang tidak memaklumkan kepada pihak peguam atau pun orang kena tahan bahawa mereka ditahan.

5. Penggunaan LSF yang sangat keterlaluan menyebabkan para peserta mempunyai kesukaran untuk bergerak serta mengganggu orang awam yang berada di sekitar tempat perhimpunan

6. Pihak polis turut menyukarkan orang awam dengan membuat sekatan jalan di semua kawasan di seluruh negara yang menganjurkan vigil Anti ISA

7. Pihak polis turut mengancam mengambil kenyataan daripada para peguam yang mewakili orang kena tahan. Ini adalah satu pencabulan hak asasi yang serius dan initimidasi polis yang keterlaluan.

8. Wartawan Harakah suami dan isteri serta anak mereka yang berumur 16 tahun turut ditahan semasa menjalankan tugas mereka sebagai wartawan yang membuat liputan di Kelantan.

2. 2 BERIKUT ADALAH INFOMASI TEMPAT-TEMPAT YANG MENGANJURKAN VIGIL DAN MENGALAMI PENANGKAPAN:

Bilangan ditahan/initimidasi polis Lapor balik kepada polis
Selangor
Dataran MBPJ, Padang Timur [6]
• Seramai 400 orang hadir di PJ
• Seramai 29 orang ditahan termasuk juvana bawah umur
• Ramai yang dikasari dan dipukul oleh polis (Lampiran 3: Disertakan Video) Perlu lapor di Mahkamah pada 16hb Ogos 2010

Penang Speakers Square[7]
• Seramai 5 orang ditahan
• Terpaksa menukar tempat lain kerana intimidasi polis yang tinggi
• Dikasari oleh polis Perlu lapor di Mahkamah pada 14 Ogos 2010

Perak Dataran Bandaraya Ipoh
• Seramai 200 orang hadir diIpoh
• Tiada tangkapan tapi initimidasi polis sangat teruk sehingga terpaksa menukar tempat lain untuk teruskan Vigil .Tiada

Kedah Dataran Zero KM, Sungai Petani • Tiada tangkapan tapi initimidasi polis sangat teruk sehingga terpaksa menukar tempat lain untuk teruskan Vigil. Tiada

Kelantan Taman Hijau, Jalan Sultanah Zainab, Kelantan
• Seramai 30 orang menyertai Vigil
• 5 orang ditahan termasuk dua wartawan Harakah dan kanak-kanak bawah umur yang 16 tahun. Lapor kepada polis pada 1 September 2010

Seremban Dataran Seremban
• Seramai 100 orang menyertai di Seremban
• Tiada tangkapan tapi initimidasi polis sangat teruk sehingga terpaksa menukar tempat lain untuk teruskan Vigil. Tiada

Johor Plaza Seni, Johor Bahru
• Tiada gangguan yang teruk melainkan beberapa amaran untuk bersurai dengan awal
• Vigil dijalankan tanpa sebarang gangguan yang teruk dan di tempat yang dirancang, Tiada

Sibu No. 25, Pusat Tanah Wang, Jalan Perdada, 96000 Sibu, Sarawak • Tiada gangguan yang teruk melainkan beberapa amaran untuk bersurai dengan awal
• Vigil dijalankan tanpa sebarang gangguan yang teruk dan di tempat yang dirancang Tiada

Kuching Lots 468-469, Bangunan Al Idrus Commercial Centre, Jalan Satok, 93400Kuching.
• Tiada gangguan yang teruk melainkan beberapa amaran untuk bersurai dengan awal
• Vigil dijalankan tanpa sebarang gangguan yang teruk dan di tempat yang dirancang, Tiada

2.3 PERLEMBAGAAN PERSEKUTUAN VS AKTA POLIS
Pihak Polis sekali lagi telah melanggar hak asasi dan juga menyalahguna kuasa dengan menggunakan keganasan dan kekasaran terhadap para peserta Vigil Anti ISA. Kerajaan gagal untuk melihat kepentingan dan kebebasan rakyat Malaysia yang menggunakan ruang demokrasi mereka untuk berkumpul secara aman seperti yang termaktub dalam Artikel 10 Perlembagaan Persekutuan Negara. Malah penggunaan Akta Polis khasnya seksyen 27 (Perhimpunan Haram) adalah amat bertentangan dengan perlembagaan Persekutuan.
Kami ingin imbas kembali pendirian yang diambil oleh SUHAKAM semasa kejadian Lebuhraya Kesas (2001), Bloody Sunday di KLCC (2006), serta insiden Bandar Mahkota Cheras (2008). Salah satu pendirian dan cadangan yang disarankan oleh SUHAKAM semasa penyiasatan umum kejadian Bloody Sunday di KLCC[8] adalah pihak penganjur hanya perlu memberikan notis awal kepada pihak polis berkenaan dengan sebarang perhimpunan aman seperti yang termaktub dalam Deklarasi Hak Asasi Sejagat Manusia (UDHR).

Penggunaan LSF secara rambang adalah satu tindakan yang tidak releven dan seharusnya boleh dielakkan sekiranya pegawai polis bersedia untuk berunding dengan pihak penganjur. Pihak polis melakukan pelbagai kesalahan atas nama ketenteraman awam dan menurut arahan. Antara kesalahan yang mereka sering lakukan adalah menghalang perhimpunan awam, hak untuk mendapatkan khidmat peguam, menahan juvana dan kanak-kanak, dan penyeksaan terhadap tahanan. Namun mereka tidak sekalipun berubah selepas setiap kesalahan yang dilakukan oleh mereka sentiasa dikritik secara nasional dan antarabangsa.

3.0 PERKARA YANG PERLUKAN PERHATIAN
SUARAM dan GMI amat mengalu-alukan inisiatif SUHAKAM yang telah turun sebagai pemantau semasa program Vigil Anti ISA di Petaling Jaya. Ini adalah suatu langkah yang amat progresif dan perlu diteruskan. Malah kami juga menyokong kenyataan akhbar yang bertarikh 3 Ogos 2010[9] yang dikeluarkan oleh SUHAKAM sejurus selepas insiden tersebut bahawa pihak polis tidak memberikan masa yang secukupnya untuk bersurai dan menyifatkan tindakan polis sebagai pencabulan Hak Asasi.
Sehubungan itu, kami ingin membawa perhatian SUHAKAM kepada beberapa isu yang memerlukan tindakan segera:

1. Penyalahgunaan kuasa oleh Polis semasa menyuraikan para peserta semasa perhimpunan Vigil:

a. Menggunakan LSF (khasnya di Petaling Jaya) secara ganas dan kasar semasa menyuraikan para peserta
b. Penangkapan dibuat secara ganas dan kasar
c. Wartawan Harakah ditahan di Kelantan adalah mala fide
d. Sesiapa yang memakai baju warna merah dan hitam menjadi sasaran
e. Semua penahanan di Petaling Jaya, Pulau Pinang dan Kelantan adalah tidak releven dan mala fide

2. Kebebasan untuk Berhimpun dirampas
a. Polis menutup jalan ke arah semua kawasan yang dirancang untuk mengadakan vigil
b. Amaran daripada Timbalan Ketua Polis Negara yang melarang orang awam menyertai Vigil adalah tindakan yang melampau dan melambangkan pihak polis tidak mendukung prinsip Hak Asasi dan Demokrasi.
c. Penangkapan orang awam dan penganjur Vigil sebelum program bermula.

3. Peguam diinitimidasi oleh Polis
a. Sekumpulan peguam daripada Majlis Peguam Malaysia, Pusat Bantuan Guaman dan Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) yang mahu mewakili anak guam mereka diganggu pihak Polis dengan pihak peguam juga diminta memberikan keterangan.

4. Hak Kanak-kanak dirampas
a. Dua juvana di bawah umur di tahan selama beberapa jam di balai Polis (di Petaling Jaya dan Kelantan). Pihak Polis telah melanggari peruntukan dalam Akta Kanak-kanak seksyen 19(5) dengan tidak memaklumkan kepada Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat tentang penahanan kanak-kanak bawah umur.
b. Malaysia telah menandatangani Konvensyen Hak Kanak-kanak (Pertubuhan Bangsa-bangsa Bersatu) yang bertanggungjawab dalam memastikan bahawa hak kanak-kanak yang ditahan atau berada dalam penahanan polis harus dijaga dengan rapi. Namun, ianya dilanggari oleh Polis apabila mereka tidak mengambil inisiatif untuk maklumkan kepada ibu bapa atau Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat.

4.0 TUNTUTAN KAMI
SUARAM dan GMI berpendirian bahawa penindasan, penyalahgunaan kuasa dan keganasan Polis semasa Vigil di seluruh negara adalah kesalahan Hak Asasi yang teruk dan mereka harus dibawa ke muka pengadilan.
Oleh itu, kami ingin menggesa SUHAKAM agar:

1. Melaksanakan Penyiasatan Umum dan terbuka terhadap kesalahan dan tindakan Polis yang melampau pada 1 Ogos 2010.
2. Memberikan laporan akhir kepada Kerajaan Malaysia untuk mengambil tindakan disiplin terhadap pihak Polis yang melakukan kesalahan dan tindakan melampau mereka ke atas para peserta.
3. Memberikam tekanan kepada Kerajaan Malaysia untuk mengkaji kembali Kanun Keseksaan (Penal Code) dan Akta Polis 1967 dan mencadangkan kepada mereka agar membuang semua bahagian yang menghadkan kebebasan berhimpun dan bersuara.
4. Meneruskan kerja pemantauan dalam setiap perhimpunan aman. Malah pada masa yang sama, kami juga ingin menggesa SUHAKAM untuk lebih proaktif dengan cuba menjadi orang tengah antara pihak penganjur dan pihak Polis sebelum sebarang perhimpunan supaya boleh mengurangkan tekanan antara Polis dan pihak penganjur.
5. Mengambil inisiatif untuk mengaktifkan Bahagian Human Rights Defenders dalam SUHAKAM dan melindungi semua aktivis dan pendukung Hak Asasi daripada seringkali menjadi mangsa keganasan, kekasaran dan intimidasi polis dan kerajaan.
Diserahkan Oleh,
Nalini Elumalai, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh, Pengerusi Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI)

________________________________________
[1] http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/138332
[2] http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/8/1/nation/6776657&sec=nation
[3] http://www.klik4malaysia.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3660%3Anationwide-anti-isa-rally-in-conjuction-with-50-years-of-isa-success-despite-of-police-brutality&catid=94%3Asuaram&Itemid=195〈=en
[4] http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/138896
[5] http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/Police-break-up-anti-ISA-vigils-arrest-30-in-PJ-3-in-Penang/
[6] http://www.aliran.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1435:anti-isa-vigils-held-across-the-nation&catid=63:gmi&Itemid=48
[7] http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/Police-break-up-anti-ISA-vigils-arrest-30-in-PJ-3-in-Penang/
[8] Suhakam (2006) ‘Report of Suhakam Public Inquiry Into the Incident at KLCC on 28 May 2006’.
[9] http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/8/3/nation/20100803145014&sec=nation

Federal Court Decision on Former ISA Detainee Abdul Malek Husin: A Negative Development on Human Rights Development in Malaysia

Press Statement: 12 August 2010

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) expresses its grave disappointment and expresses serious concern over the Federal Court judgment today which overturned a RM2.5 million award to former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Abdul Malek Husin following an appeal by the Malaysian government.

The Federal court reversed the High Court decision and the Federal Court has upheld the Court of Appeal ruling to overturn a High Court decision his suit against the government. The Federal Court thus ruled that Malek Husin will not receive the damages awarded to him by the High Court and ordered Malek Husin instead to pay RM20, 000 in costs. It’s a total setback to the former detainee and also for the rest of the Malaysians. He was detained without trial for 57days under the ISA; he was tortured, beaten up & now to pay costs RM 20k. Something is really wrong with our judges and judiciary system in Malaysia!

Suaram is of the view that the judgement sets a negative bench mark on human rights development in Malaysia as the court refuse to even hear a fundamental question pertaining Article 5 of the Federal Constitution as it went on to reject the leave application citing Court of Judicature Act. Suaram feels that courts failed to exercise its jurisdiction to address fundamental constitutional rights and civil liberties by choosing to adopt technical grounds per se.

The judgement reaffirms the current worsening culture of impunity and torture by further granting a 20,000 RM cost over a public interest litigation seeking justice over his rights and fundamental liberties that was purportedly violated by the most notorious undemocratic law of the nation. The message sent by the courts is that the only mechanism available to make police actions accountable is laden with risk of reverse punishment in form of a cost. Suaram views that all public interest litigations should not burden litigants with cost or fear of cost in addressing the legal remedy over one’s Constitutional rights and freedom.

The Federal not only refused to hear a question of fundamental rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution but it also went on to punish the person for raising it. The judgement is the biggest blow to our judicial integrity since the controversial Lingam Tape and the controversial appointment of UMNO linked lawyer Tan Sri Zaki Azmi as the Chief Justice of Malaya.

Court Rules In Favour of Human Rights Violators!

SUARAM also views this as another dire attempt by the government to defend the indefensible ISA which allows detention without trial. It is a known fact that all ISA detainees are subjected to severe psychological torture and put in solitary confinement in their 60 days detention. Detention without trial for such a long period without any access to lawyers, family and the outside world is itself a cruel maltreatment to the detainees. Many amongst them, like Male Husin, have been subjected to physical torture while in detention.

Malaysia Accepts Torture?

The Federal Court judgement today, rejecting the findings of the High Court that Abdul Malek was indeed tortured while in detention, did nothing more than to reaffirm the acceptance of torture in the country not only by the Malaysian government – which has still to date refused to ratify the UN’s Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) – but also by the Malaysian judiciary!

SUARAM strongly urges the Malaysian government to immediately ratify the CAT. SUARAM finds no reason for the refusal of the government to do so but for its acceptance of torture as a punishment in the country!

Abolish the ISA!

The absence of judicial checks and balances in ISA detentions has also exacerbated the abuses of power by the police who can get away with impunity. Malaysia cannot call itself a democratic country when there is such a law that permits detention without trial and gross violation of human rights.

SUARAM reiterates its demand that the government abolishes the ISA frees all detainees or accords them a fair trial. SUARAM stands strongly against any law that provides for detention without trial.

Last but not least, SUARAM reaffirms that it will build on the struggles, sacrifices and perseverance of the numerous courageous ex-ISA detainees and their families who have stood up against the draconian law. With the support of the people, SUARAM will continue the struggle until the ISA is finally abolished.

Released by,

Nalini, E.
SUARAM Coordinator

Background

Abdul Malek Husin was arrested on the night of September 25, 1998 after addressing a demonstration earlier that afternoon in Masjid Negara. He accused the police of severely assaulting him, physically and mentally.

In the past trial, Malek Husin told the court that he was slapped by the respondent, Borhan bin Haji Daud when he was arrested. Then he was stripped naked and blindfolded during the interrogation period. He was physically assaulted for about 60 times, beaten-up and hit hard on the head until he passed out. He was also forced to swallow liquid with terrible stench, which deemed to be urine. His interrogators also threatened to inject him with the HIV/AIDs virus.

Malek Husin filed his suit civil suit in March 1999, naming special branch officer Borhan Daud, the then police chief Abdul Rahim Noor and the government as respondents. On 18 October 2007, then Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus, ruled that Malek Husin’s detention during the Reformasi demonstrations in 1998, were made in bad faith under Article 5 of the Federal Constitution. He was rewarded RM 2.5 Million for the damages.

On the 25th March, The Court of Appeal’s convened by a panel of three judges, reversed the High Court decision and ruled that Malek Husin detention was lawful and rejected his allegations of torture while in custody. The Court of Appeal thus ruled that Malek Husin will not receive the damages awarded to him by the High Court and ordered Malek Husin instead to pay RM50, 000 in costs.