Unlawful Detention through Abusive ‘Procedures’ by Prison & Immigration

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) condemns the unlawful detention of Ms. Quek Chin Fern and Ms. Cheryl Lim in Kluang Prison, Johor.

The two were arrested on 19th June 2017 for allegation of shoplifting. They subsequently pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a day of imprisonment under Section 380 of the Penal Code on 22nd June 2017 (with sentence to start at 12AM, 22nd June 2017). Despite being sentenced to 1 day of imprisonment, they were not released at the designated time and were brought to Kluang Prison to ‘serve’ their sentence.

Family member who contacted the prison officials were informed that the two cannot be released as their passport were not with them at the prison. Additional queries directed to the prison officials were returned with information that the Immigration Department of Malaysia has issued orders for the two to be detained. Prison officials also claim that in these situations the procedures outlines that prisoners are only to be transfer to immigration detention on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

There is no legitimate ground for these individuals to be subjected to additional detention by the prison department and immigration department. Their detention can only be described as an underhanded method utilized by the Prison Departmen to illegally detained individuals beyond the ambit of the law. The illegal detention of Ms Quek and Ms Cheryl for the past 5 days represents a direct violation of Article 5(1)1 of the Federal Constitution and a violation of Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights2.

In addition to their illegal detention, SUARAM was informed by the family of Ms. Quek that she suffers from a dislocated shoulder since the time of her arrest and have not been provided any medical attention. The failure to provide adequate medical attention is a violation of Rule 273 of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules).

SUARAM reiterate our condemnation of the detention of Ms. Quek and Ms. Cheryl and call for their immediate release!

In Solidarity
Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director

1 No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty save in accordance with law

2 Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person

3 ‘All prisons must ensure prompt access to medical attention in urgent cases…’