Re-establishing ISA through POCA

For Immediate Release
12 July 2016

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) condemns the blatant abuse of police power in Dato’ R. Sri Sanjeevan’s arrests and calls for his immediate release.

Sanjeevan who is well known for his contribution as chairperson of MyWatch was first arrested on 22nd June 2016 following an allegation that he extorted money from a gambling den operator[1]. After the conclusion of his first remand, he has been subjected to a series of chain remand with the courts rejecting the final 3 remand applications put forth by the Royal Malaysian police.

At the conclusion of his 8th remand where the police failed to secure an extension for his remand, he was subjected to detention under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (POCA). He has now begun the first 21 days of remand under POCA. Even before the conclusion of the 21 days, Bukit Aman D7 principal assistant director, Roslee Chik has divulged that the police will detain Sanjeevan under POCA for the full 60 days’ period[2].

If there is sufficient evidence against the said individual, there is no reason why the Royal Malaysian Police needs to subject a person under chain remand or detain a person under POCA as they can forward the case to the attorney general’s chamber for criminal prosecution. The abuse of law and the use of laws that permit detention without trial implies that the police have insufficient evidence to push for prosecute but still seek to punish the individual.

The latest case against Sanjeevan under POCA makes it clear that the Royal Malaysian Police utilize laws such as POCA to allow them to act with absolute impunity and serve as the judge, jury and executioner. Further the use of draconian provisions such as POCA against individuals that has clear history of being a part of civil societies makes it clear that POCA can be and will be abused like Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012. The use of POCA in such a manner effectively reintroduced ISA into the civil and political discourse in Malaysia and this dangerous trend must not be allowed to continue.

In these trying times where Malaysia is subjected to threats from terrorism, the Royal Malaysian Police must not tarnish their image in such a manner as it would weaken public trust and jeopardize the safety and interest of the public. On this note, SUARAM strongly condemn this unconscionable behaviour displayed by the Royal Malaysian Police and demand for Sanjeevan to be released immediately.

SUARAM also reiterate the call for the abolition of all laws permitting detention without trial including but not limited to the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, Prevention of Crime Act 1959, Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 and Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) 1984.

In Solidarity
Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM

[1] http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/06/23/ngo-chief-under-remand/

[2] http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1892443

CPC Amendments Violates Human Rights

For Immediate Release
6th May 2016

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) is appalled by the proposed amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) that threatened to undermine fundamental rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and strongly condemn the attempt to restrict human rights and the malicious intent to devastate the ever shrinking democratic space.

The proposed amendments to the CPC that will be tabled in the upcoming Parliament session in May 2016 includes a shocking amendment that would restrict bail for ALL offences under Section 124 of the Penal Code. Section 124 have been invoked countless times over 2015 against civil activists and politicians during the #KitaLawan rallies and subsequently invoked against media such as the Malaysian Insider earlier this year.

Reflecting on the unjustifiable definition of public order and national security by the Government of Malaysia in 2015 and the arrests and investigation of civil activists, politicians and journalists under Section 124 of the Penal Code, it is self-evident that the Government of Malaysia have chosen to crackdown against dissenters through Section 124. The amendment to CPC and the denial of bail for offences under Section 124 would greatly strengthen the ‘bite’ of Section 124 and grant the Government of Malaysia power to imprison, punish and silent dissenters.

If the amendment to the CPC is allowed to pass, the farcical detention of Khairuddin Abu Bakar and Matthias Chang would no longer be an exception. It is likely that such detentions would become the norm with the denial of bail for those charged under Section 124 of the Penal Code. As such, it would not be wrong for us to consider the amendment of the CPC to be no more than an attempt to revive power akin to those granted by the Internal Security Act 1960.

SUARAM call for the Government of Malaysia to retract the introduction of this ludicrous amendment and cease with its blatant attempt to stifle civil liberties and human rights in Malaysia. Failure to put an end to this obtuse move would only put Malaysia one step closer to becoming a failed state and a laughing stock among our international peers.

In Solidarity,
Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM

Court says SOSMA not applicable, SUARAM calls it abuse of power! SOSMA must go!

For immediate release
18th November 2015

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) welcomes the decision by the High Court in the case of Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and his lawyer Matthias Chang.

The decision to reject the charges against Khairuddin Abu Hassan and Matthias Chang is a courageous step forward for the Judiciary of Malaysia. While it is unfortunate that Khairuddin and Matthias would still have to stand trial for the crime of highlighting possible corruption in Malaysia, the small victory is still a welcomed news in these turbulent times.

Further, SUARAM call for the Attorney General to consider dropping the charges filed against Khairuddin and Matthias as the court have rejected their ‘crimes’ as an security offence. Failure to do so would contravene the Attorney General’s statement that prosecution would not take place unless he is certain of 99% chance of conviction. In this case, the decision by the High Court clearly sided the 1% and should thus be an end to this ill-advised misadventure.

On this note, SUARAM reiterate our stance that laws such as SOSMA that permits detention without trial is a draconian and unconscionable law that should not exist and MUST be repealed. The abuse of such laws in Malaysia is not uncommon and the case of Khairuddin and Matthias highlights the danger. Lastly, draconian laws such as SOSMA is not the way to protect the safety and security of Malaysia but the first step in converting Malaysia into a police state. As Malaysians, we must not allow this to be our future!

 
In Solidarity,
Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director

SINGAPORE TRADER ARRESTED UNDER THE ISA: RELEASE OR CHARGE HIM!

SUARA RAKYAT MALAYSIA &
GERAKAN MANSUHKAN ISA

PRESS STATEMENT: 10 MAY 2011

SINGAPORE TRADER ARRESTED UNDER THE ISA: RELEASE OR CHARGE HIM!

Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) and Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) express its protest and disappointment over the latest arrest of Abdul Majid Kunji Mohamad (60 years old) alleged suspicion of channeling funds and providing logistic support to a militant group in Southern Philippines and to be linked to the Islamic militant group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The police arrested him on the 6th of May 2011.

GMI and SUARAM strongly condemn the new arrest under the ISA. This year alone, 5 people including Abdul Majid Kunji Mohamad has been arrested under the ISA.
According to the police they have keep an eye on Abdul Majid Kunji Mohamad since he has been moved to Malaysia two years ago. We would like to know why the government invoked ISA against him now? If the police already have enough evidence against Abdul Majid Kunji Mohamad, why they never charge him in court? Seems the government and the police continuously looking for more and more labels and victims to justify the existence and usage of the ISA.
We are very concern about the condition and safety of Abdul Majid Kunji Mohamad. We urge the Government to allow the lawyers and the family to visit Abdul Majid Kunji Mohamad immediately! We also would like to invite the family of Abdul Majid Kunji Mohamad to contact GMI and SUARAM and fight for the Abdul Majid’s rights.

GMI & SUARAM views that the usage of ISA against Abdul Majid Kunji Mohamad are against the fundamental principles of human rights, justice and international human rights standards and pose and inherent danger of abuse of power particularly in terms of torture or cruel and degrading treatment of detainee.

GMI and SUARAM values that the security of the country is of utmost importance but one’s entitlement to a fair trial should not be deprived on any basis.

We strongly criticize the Government for practicing double standards on issues related to ISA. On one hand, it plans to review the ISA but on the other hand, new detention is carried out discreetly as no prior announcements were made. This incident exhibits that the ISA, is an arbitrary law and has been abused in the pretext of national security for political reasons. We urge the government to charge the said detainee in an open court; otherwise, he should be released without any delay and unconditionally.

Abolish the ISA!!!
Release all ISA detainees!!!
Close KEMTA!!!

Released by,

Nalini.E
GMI Secretariat and SUARAM Coordinator

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.