Detention under the ISA: The lies and hypocrisy of the Government Exposed!

Immediate Media Release: 17 November 2011

Abolish ISA Movement (GMI) and Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) condemn the police and the Malaysian government for arresting 11 people from Tawau under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA). According to our source, the actual number of individuals arrested is most likely 14 persons.

This heinous act is regrettable because it contradicts with the announcement of the Prime Minister of Malaysia on 15 September in respect of the repeal of the ISA. What is the rationale behind the detention? Is the Prime Minister of Malaysia trying to fool the people of Malaysia with his hypocritical attitude? The PM should be ashamed of this arrest!
According to our sources, the allegations against 11 individuals remain unclear and it is believed that they are associated with terrorism. Here are the names of the detained under the ISA on the 14th and 15th day of November 2011 (not official):

No
Name
Occupation
1
Mohd Nazri Bin Dollah
Religious teacher at SMK Kinabutan
2
Yusof Bin Saripuddin
Poultry dealer
3
Muhd Adnan Bin Umar
Teacher at MJU Tuition Centre
4
Muhd Abduh Bin Umar
Lorry driver
5
Adwan
Not Available
6
Faizal Bin Hamma
Newspapers Distributor
7
Joni @ Muadz
Newspapers Distributor
8
Azmi
Not Available
9
Suriadi
Not Available
10
Darto Bin Bandu
Teacher at MJU Tuition Centre
11
Bakar Bin Baba
Teacher at SMK Umas-umas

The arrest was conducted by police officers from the Department of Special Task Force (Operation Counter Terrorism) Bukit Aman headed by DSP Azman bin Omar. Family/next of kin of the individuals arrested were informed a day later that the arrest is under Section 73(1) AKDN 1960 (ISA).

Arrest without warrant, without notice or informing spouses and children is too tragic. The conduct of the arrest is comparable to a robbery as the police officers were well-armed and seized several laptops and a sum of cash.

BN Cannot Live Without ISA
The new detentions confirm the doubts among Malaysians with regards to this repeal. Now it is proven that the announcement of the repeal is insincere and merely for Najib’s political interests. ISA is a cruel act that allows for detention without trial, which contradicts with fundamental human rights principles.

The UMNO/BN government has indicated that it cannot sustain itself without the ISA. The UMNO/BN-led government requires a political tool to stay in power and create fear among Malaysians. The ongoing use of ISA has given a blow to the BN’s credibility for the next election as it still maintains the habit of cheating people by using the ISA on a confidential basis.

Abolish ISA Now!
We would also like to remind the Prime Minister that over the past few decades, thousands of people were detained without trial under the ISA not for what they did or said, but based on anonymous and often false accusations from third parties. People have been locked up for crimes that were not proven in a court of law and thousands were left to anguish in secret detention cells around the country over an indefinite period of time.

As such, SUARAM and GMI call upon the Prime Minister to abolish the Internal Security Act and release all the detainees while the abolition is pending. We also call upon the government to stop legislating laws which allows detention without trial and to deal the terrorism issues with the existing laws.

Released by
Nalini Elumalai
GMI Secretariat/SUARAM
019 3758912

Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh
Chairman GMI
013 3682067

Penahanan dibawah ISA: Pembohongan dan Hipokrasi Kerajaan Terbongkar !

GERAKAN MANSUHKAN ISA (GMI)
&
SUARA RAKYAT MALAYSIA (SUARAM)

Kenyataan Akhbar: 17 November 2011

Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) dan Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) mengutuk tindakan polis dan kerajaan Malaysia kerana menahan 11orang dari Tawau dibawah Akta Keselamatan dalam Negeri (ISA). Angka ini adalah tidak rasmi kerana ada sumber yang mengatakan angkanya kemungkinan 14 orang.
Tindakan terkutuk ini amat dikesali kerana ianya bercanggah dengan pengumuman Perdana Menteri Malaysia pada 15 September berkenaan dengan pemansuhan ISA. Apakah rasional disebalik penahanan? Adakah Perdana Menteri Malaysia cuba memperdayakan rakyat Malaysia dengan sikap hipokrasi beliau ? PM perlu berasa malu atas penangkapan ini!
Menurut sumber kami, setakat ini tuduhan keatas 11 orang ini masih tidak pasti dan dipercayai kemungkinan mereka dikaitkan dengan keganasan.
Berikut adalah nama-nama yang ditahan dibawah ISA pada 14 dan 15 haribulan November 2011 (Bukan rasmi):

Bil
Senarai Nama
Pekerjaan
1
Mohd Nazri Bin Dollah
Guru Agama SMK Kinabutan
2
Yusof Bin Saripuddin
Peniaga Ayam
3
Muhd Adnan Bin Umar
Guru Pusat Tuisyen MJU
4
Muhd Abduh Bin Umar
Pemandu Lori
5
Adwan

6
Faizal Bin Hamma
Pengedar Akhbar Harian
7
Joni @ Muadz
Pengedar Akhbar Harian
8
Azmi

9
Suriadi

10
Darto Bin Bandu
Guru Pusat Tuisyen MJU
11
Bakar Bin Baba
Guru Smk Umas-Umas

Tangkapan tersebut dilakukan oleh pegawai-pegawai polis dari Jabatan Pasukan Petugas Khas (Operasi Counter Terorism) Bukit Aman diketuai oleh DSP Azman bin Omar. Keluarga / Waris orang yang ditangkap dimaklumkan sehari kemudian yang mereka ditangkap di bawah Seksyen 73 (1) AKDN 1960 (ISA).

Penangkapan tanpa waran, tanpa notis atau dimaklumkan dilakukan di hadapan isteri dan anak-anak terlalu tragis. Situasi ini dilakukan oleh pihak polis yang lengkap bersenjata dengan cara yang kasar bagai satu rompakan dan dirampas beberapa komputer riba (laptop) dan sejumlah wang tunai.

BN Tidak boleh Hidup Tanpa ISA
Penahanan terbaru ini mengesahkan kesangsian yang terdapat di kalangan rakyat Malaysia berkenaan pemansuhan ini. Kini ianya amat pasti bahawa pengumuman itu hanyalah untuk kepentingan politik Najib dan tidak serius dan jujur dalam memansuhkan akta zalim ini. ISA adalah akta yang zalim dan yang membenarkan penahanan tanpa bicara di mana ianya bercanggah dengan hak asasi manusia.

Kerajaan UMNO/BN memang tidak boleh bertahan tanpa ISA. Kerajaan UMNO/BN ini memerlukan alat politik ini terus berkuasa dan mewujudkan ketakutan di kalangan rakyat Malaysia.Tindakan penggunaan ISA sememangya telah memberikan satu tamparan kepada kerajaan BN dalam pilihan raya akana datang kerana masih menipu rakyat dengan masih menggunakan ISA secara rahsia.

Mansuhkan ISA Sekarang
Kami juga ingin mengingatkan Perdana Menteri bahawa sejak beberapa dekad yang lalu, beribu-ribu orang telah ditahan tanpa bicara di bawah ISA bukan untuk apa yang mereka lakukan atau berkata tetapi berdasarkan tuduhan tanpa bukti dan sering palsu daripada pihak ketiga. Orang yang telah ditahan bukan untuk jenayah yang mereka lakukan atau dibuktikan di mana-mana mahkamah dan beribu-ribu dibiarkan merana di dalam sel-sel tahanan rahsia di seluruh negara.

Oleh itu, SUARAM dan GMI menyeru Perdana Menteri untuk mansuhkan ISA dengan segera dan membebaskan semua tahanan. Kami juga menyeru kerajaan untuk menghentikan menggubal undang-undang yang membenarkan penahanan tanpa perbicaraan dan untuk menangani isu-isu keganasan dengan undang-undang yang sedia ada.

Dikeluarkan oleh,
Nalini Elumalai
GMI Secretariat/SUARAM
019 3758912

Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh
Chairman GMI
013 3682067

Malaysians Deserve Freedom from Discrimination, Harassment and Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Joint Press Statement: 2 November 2011

We, the undersigned civil society organisations and members of the Seksualiti Merdeka (Sexuality Independence) coalition strongly condemn the attacks on the annual festival by PERKASA, Hindu Sangam and PAS Youth. We call upon the state authorities to ensure the security and rights of all human rights defenders in the country, including those from the LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer) community.

We are deeply concerned about the security of LGBTIQ communities and the activists who have been advocating for intimidation and harassments against them to cease. The LGBTIQ community continues to be subjected to harassment, threats and violent attacks largely due to the lack of recognition of their rights.

In Malaysia, as across the region, homosexuality remains criminalised and punishable by severe prison sentences. Seksualiti Merdeka is an annual sexuality rights festival held in Kuala Lumpur. Apart from the annual festival, Seksualiti Merdeka also organises workshops, talks and film screenings to create awareness among Malaysians to understand the community better and to respect their freedom to freely express their sexual orientation and gender identity without conformity to any prescribed set of norms.

The UN Human Rights Council has on numerous occasions expressly stated that homosexuality is protected by Article 2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as a special status of non-discrimination and urged states to pass anti-discrimination legislation that expressly includes sexual orientation as a protected ground.

According to Article 7 of the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (also known as the Human Rights Defenders Declaration), “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to develop and discuss new human rights ideas and principles and to advocate their acceptance” and according to Article 12.2 “The state shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of their rights referred to in the present Declaration”.

We are deeply concerned with the situation where religious and political leaders, as well as the media continue to demonise LGBTIQ activists and communities in Malaysia. In addition, LGBTIQ persons are frequently exposed to hate speech, attacks and harassment. We believe that everyone in Malaysia deserves to be free from discrimination, harassment and violence regardless of their sexual orientations and their gender identities. We believe it is our right to be responsible for our own body. We, the undersigned organisations, whole –heartedly will continue to support the much needed efforts taken by the Seksualiti Merdeka.

We also seek to remind all Malaysians of the call made to all States by the UN Human Rights Council to take timely and effective action to prevent and protect against attacks on and threats to persons engaged in promoting and defending human rights and fundamental freedoms and their relatives (§ 6, resolution 13/13, 25 March 2010, ­UN Doc.: A/HRC/RES/13/13).

Therefore, we call upon the Malaysian authorities to:
Fully decriminalise homosexuality and prevent impunity for all kinds of incitement to or direct harassment, threats and other violations against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, intersex and queer persons, as well as ensure that they are treated equally.
Refrain from hate speech and ensure the right to freedom of expression to all human rights defenders, including those defending the rights of sexual minorities, as provided in Article 19 of the ICCPR.
Ensure in law and in practice the right to freedom of association for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, intersex and queer persons, and their right to organise themselves to protect and promote their rights, as provided in Article 22 of ICCPR and called for by the UN Human Rights Council (§ 1, resolution 15/21, 30 September 2010, UN Doc.: A/HRC/RES/15/21).

Endorsed By,

1. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
2. Pusat Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)
3. Amnesty International Malaysia (AIM)
4. Community Action Network (CAN)
5. Tenaganita
6. Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
7. Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)
8. Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)
9. WAMI (Writers Alliance for Media Independence)
10. Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)
11. Pusat KOMAS (KOMAS)
12. The National Human Rights Society (HAKAM)
13. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
14. AWAM (All Women’s Action Society)
15. Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
16. Civil Society Committee of LLG Cultural Development Centre
17.
Joint Press Statement: 2 November 2011

Malaysians Deserve Freedom from Discrimination, Harassment and Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

We, the undersigned civil society organisations and members of the Seksualiti Merdeka (Sexuality Independence) coalition strongly condemn the attacks on the annual festival by PERKASA, Hindu Sangam and PAS Youth. We call upon the state authorities to ensure the security and rights of all human rights defenders in the country, including those from the LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer) community.

We are deeply concerned about the security of LGBTIQ communities and the activists who have been advocating for intimidation and harassments against them to cease. The LGBTIQ community continues to be subjected to harassment, threats and violent attacks largely due to the lack of recognition of their rights.

In Malaysia, as across the region, homosexuality remains criminalised and punishable by severe prison sentences. Seksualiti Merdeka is an annual sexuality rights festival held in Kuala Lumpur. Apart from the annual festival, Seksualiti Merdeka also organises workshops, talks and film screenings to create awareness among Malaysians to understand the community better and to respect their freedom to freely express their sexual orientation and gender identity without conformity to any prescribed set of norms.

The UN Human Rights Council has on numerous occasions expressly stated that homosexuality is protected by Article 2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as a special status of non-discrimination and urged states to pass anti-discrimination legislation that expressly includes sexual orientation as a protected ground.

According to Article 7 of the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (also known as the Human Rights Defenders Declaration), “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to develop and discuss new human rights ideas and principles and to advocate their acceptance” and according to Article 12.2 “The state shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of their rights referred to in the present Declaration”.

We are deeply concerned with the situation where religious and political leaders, as well as the media continue to demonise LGBTIQ activists and communities in Malaysia. In addition, LGBTIQ persons are frequently exposed to hate speech, attacks and harassment. We believe that everyone in Malaysia deserves to be free from discrimination, harassment and violence regardless of their sexual orientations and their gender identities. We believe it is our right to be responsible for our own body. We, the undersigned organisations, whole –heartedly will continue to support the much needed efforts taken by the Seksualiti Merdeka.
We also seek to remind all Malaysians of the call made to all States by the UN Human Rights Council to take timely and effective action to prevent and protect against attacks on and threats to persons engaged in promoting and defending human rights and fundamental freedoms and their relatives (§ 6, resolution 13/13, 25 March 2010, ­UN Doc.: A/HRC/RES/13/13).
Therefore, we call upon the Malaysian authorities to:
Fully decriminalise homosexuality and prevent impunity for all kinds of incitement to or direct harassment, threats and other violations against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, intersex and queer persons, as well as ensure that they are treated equally.
Refrain from hate speech and ensure the right to freedom of expression to all human rights defenders, including those defending the rights of sexual minorities, as provided in Article 19 of the ICCPR.
Ensure in law and in practice the right to freedom of association for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, intersex and queer persons, and their right to organise themselves to protect and promote their rights, as provided in Article 22 of ICCPR and called for by the UN Human Rights Council (§ 1, resolution 15/21, 30 September 2010, UN Doc.: A/HRC/RES/15/21).

Endorsed By,

1. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
2. Pusat Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)
3. Amnesty International Malaysia (AIM)
4. Community Action Network (CAN)
5. Tenaganita
6. Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
7. Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)
8. Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)
9. WAMI (Writers Alliance for Media Independence)
10. Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)
11. Pusat KOMAS (KOMAS)
12. The National Human Rights Society (HAKAM)
13. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
14. AWAM (All Women’s Action Society)
15. Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF)
16. Civil Society Committee of LLG Cultural Development Centre
17. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor

Himpunan Mansuh 2009 Court Case: 13 Acquitted and Discharged While Remaining 16 Enter their Defense

21 OCTOBER 2011

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) held a watching brief today at the Sessions Court for the decision of the 29 detainees who were arrested for participating in a rally against the Internal Security Act (ISA) on 1st August 2009 in Kuala Lumpur.

The judge Ainol Shahrin in her judgment today acquitted and discharged the charges against 13 detainees who were charged under the Societies Act for assisting in the distribution of t-shirts for an ‘unlawful society’ known as ‘Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA’. Meanwhile, the remaining 16 will enter their defense at the Sessions Court on 1st and 2nd December 2011.

On 3rd August 2009, 16 people who allegedly participated in the rally were charged under Section 143 of the Penal Code for illegal assembly and alternatively, they were charged with illegal assembly under the Police Act 1967. Another 13 were charged under the Societies Act for assisting in the distribution of t-shirts for an ‘unlawful society’ known as the ‘Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA’.

SUARAM is dissatisfied with the decision against the 16 individuals who are required to give their defense in December although the trial of this case has clearly shown that the prosecution was unable to bring evidence against all of them. The 16 individuals were arrested before the assembly began on the assumption that they would participate in the assembly. Despite that, they continue to be charged for participating in an unlawful assembly under Section 27 (5)(a) of the Police Act.

Every citizen of Malaysia has the right to assemble and as stated by SUHAKAM, any peaceful assembly does not require a permit and the organizers merely have to inform the police. GMI, the rally organizers had informed the police that this rally will take place and requested cooperation from the police to protect the safety of the participants. Instead of protecting the rights and safety of the participants, the police arrested participants.

SUARAM is disappointed with the decision of the court today and we demand that the court delivers justice by acquitting the 16 individuals from the charges in line with international human rights instruments.

In addition, SUARAM calls on the Najib administration to drop the charges against the 16 individuals in light of the announcement that the ISA will be repealed. If Prime Minister Najib Razak truly has the intention to repeal the ISA, then all those who were arrested and charged in relation to the anti-ISA rally in 2009 should be freed. It is time that Prime Minister Najib Razak leads the nation towards a truly democratic society by taking the step towards removing all barriers against the right to freedom of assembly.

Released by,
Nalini Elumalai
Program Manager
SUARAM

Background
On the day of the anti-ISA rally, 1 August 2009, as early as 3.40am, 14 members of the Parti Islam Malaysia (PAS) security team, Unit Amal, were arrested. Even a few hours before the time of the assembly, police searched and started arresting individuals who were wearing or carrying anti-ISA shirts at Central Market, Sogo, Masjid Jamek and Masjid Negara. In total, 589 people were arrested on the day of the rally, including 44 children and 40 women. 498 people were released on the same day and 91 were held at Bukit Jalil Police Station.

Those charged with illegal assembly were Nordin Mohamad, Hayati Abdul Samad, Salmah Ismail, Norlaila Othman, Nashita Mohd Noor, Rashini, Hasbullah Pit, Wan Muhamad Jazlan, Mohd Pitri Mohd Yassin, Syaza Muaz Shaharudin, Mohd Sukri Mohd Sirat, Mohamd Sukeri Muhammad, Mohd Sallehuddin Yusof, Zulfasli Kama Kutty, Mohd Fazly Mohd Ismail, and Norazam Sakib.

They were said to have gathered where they were picked up, between 9am and 1.30pm, in the vicinity of Masjid Negara and Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman. The offence is punishable with a six-month jail term and a fine.

The 13 deemed to have assisted the protesters were Muhamad Sholihin, Ahmad Abd Wahab Abd Rahman, Abu Ubaidah Jalaluddin, Shahrul Iman M Salleh, Kamarul Nadhir Kadini, Mohd Ikhwan Ikram, Shamsul Anuar Nordin, Mohd Fadzil Jan Dam, Saad Musa, Mohd Hafizudin M Ghazali, Mohd Helmi Hassan, Mohd Lokman Amad Ulawi and Faizudin Hamzah.

They were jointly charged with assisting in the distribution of t-shirts at Jalan Kinabalu, near Masjid Negara at 3.50am on Saturday. This is punishable with a maximum RM3,000 fine.

Show Cause on Prof Aziz Bari is Politically Motivated and Violation of Freedom of Expression in Malaysia!

Press Statement: 21 October 2011

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) condemns the suspension of Universiti Islam Antarabangsa (UIA) law professor Abdul Aziz Bari from his lecturing duties over his comments, relating to the royal decree on the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department raid of the Damansara Utama Methodist Church on Aug 3.

SUARAM views that the suspension of Professor Aziz is politically motivated and a violation of freedom of expression aimed purely to victimise him of his academic career. SUARAM views this development as a serious concern to the furtherance of human rights in Malaysia as the incident reflects on the lack of freedom and independence by academics in expressing their view and expert opinions without prejudice and fear.

“The Prime Minister on 15th of September has made a public statement on human rights reforms and shared that it is his vision that Malaysia aspires to the ranks of ‘developed nations but the events in place runs contrary to his statement as his call for reform did not reveal any significance changes if not for negative development’ It simply remains as an empty rhetoric and lacks in will and credibility” said Nalini Elumalai, Program Manager of Suaram.

SUARAM further comments that as an academic well-known for his views and opinions in Constitutional matters, Prof Aziz would naturally be expected to comment on this issue and in accordance with his professional obligations. If academics are subjected to disciplinary action for their professional views and opinions, then this violation impedes seriously on the development of the nation and democratic processes of the nation.

SUARAM would like to state firmly that all professional views and opinions made in the interest of public must be treated as a qualified statement and be protected as a privilege statement. Such statements must at all-time be respected and confined to the academic and public scrutiny and not be treated as seditious or offensive by way of law and disciplinary actions.

SUARAM also calls on the government of Malaysia to abolish the Sedition Act and the Aku Janji agreements and respect the academic freedom and the freedom of expression in Malaysia. Finally, SUARAM calls on the UIA management to drop all charges against Prof Aziz Bari.

Released by,

Nalini.E
Program Manager
SUARAM