Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Urgent Appeal for release of RPK, HINDRAF 5 and others detained under DWT laws - Let us ACT

Well, here is an Asian Human Rights Commission Urgent Appeal - to procure the immediate and unconditional release of Raja Petra, the Hindraf 5 and all others detained under the ISA.. and also to call for the repeal of the ISA

(If you go to the AHRC website - it makes it very easy to send the Urgent Appeals, as they have an Online Response System, whereby all you need to input is your name, your e-mail and your country, and then just send the appeal letter out..... go to http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/support.php)

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-217-2008

30 September 2008
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MALAYSIA: Blogger is detained without trial

ISSUES: Arbitrary arrest and detention; freedom of opinion and expression; rule of law; criminal justice system
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Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that a Malaysian blogger, arrested by the police on September 12, 2008 under the Internal Security Act (ISA) was given a two-year detention order on September 23. Two others, a journalist and a Member of Parliament who were also arrested on September 12 under the ISA were released after 18 hours and 1 week respectively. Meantime, it is reported that more than 66 persons are currently detained under the ISA which allows the Home Minister to renew the period of detention without limitation.

CASE DETAILS:

Raja Petra Kamaruddin, a political blogger and editor of Malaysia Today, an online alternative media, was arrested on September 12, 2008 under Section 73(1) of the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA) for allegedly being a threat to security, peace and public order. He is alleged to have published hatred-inciting articles on his blog. He allegedly also posted articles that insulted Islam.

According to Marina Abdullah, Raja Petra's wife who was allowed to see her husband with their two children at the Bukit Aman Police Headquarters on September 16, Raja Petra spoke very softly and looked weak, pale and had lost much weight. He complained to her that he was suffering from lack of sleep because the night before, he was harassed on an hourly basis by officers who recorded statements from him. He further said that while he has not been physically abused he had suffered mentally. Marina said that his blood sugar level had dropped. She also added that her husband suffers from heart artery blockages and is on medication. Raja Petra's lawyers filed a habeas corpus application at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on September 16, seeking his immediate release.

Meanwhile, he received a two-year detention order under Section 8(1) of the ISA on September 23. He has been sent to the Kamunting Detention Centre in Perak where he will be detained for two years or more, depending on the discretion of the Home Minister.

On September 12, 2008, besides Raja Petra, 2 others were also arrested under the ISA but they have since been released.

Ms. Tan Hoon Cheng, a reporter of Sin Chew Daily News was arrested at her home in Taman Permai in Bukit Mertajam at 8:40pm on September 12 and taken to the Bandar Perda Police Station in Seberang Jaya where she was detained under Section 73(1) of the ISA. She was released on September 2008.

Ms. Teresa Kok, an opposition member of Parliament was arrested at 11:18pm on her way back from a Mooncake Festival reception held at her constituency office in Kuala Lumpur. It is reported that three police cars with over 10 officers stopped Kok at the entrance of her condominium and took her away. She was also arrested under Section 73(1) of the ISA. She was later released on September 19.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

The Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA) is one of 3 Detention Without Trial laws. The other 2 laws are Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985 and the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969.

Under the ISA, "If the Minister is satisfied that the detention of any person is necessary with a view to preventing him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of Malaysia or any part thereof or to the maintenance of essential services therein or to the economic life thereof, he may make an order (hereinafter referred to as a detention order) directing that that person be detained for any period not exceeding two years." (s. 8(1) Internal Security Act 1960)

Those arrested under these preventive detention laws have no right to defend themselves. They have no right to fair and open trial.

Since the amendments to the ISA in 1989, judicial review has been limited to questions of compliance with any procedural requirement in this Act. The Minister also has no obligation to justify or prove the allegations levied against the persons detained under these laws.

It is reported that at least 66 individuals are currently detained under the ISA at the Kamunting Detention Centre in Perak. M Manoharan, Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) legal advisers P Uthayakumar, R Kenghadharan and V Ganabatirau and T Vasantha Kumar were arrested and issued with a two year Detention Order on 13 December 2007. (Please also see AHRC-FUA-001-2008)

Even though the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in his report on the mission to Malaysia on December 1998 at the then Commission on Human Rights, made the recommendation that "The Government is strongly encouraged to consider taking further steps to fully guarantee the protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. These steps should include the repeal of the Internal Security Act ...",(E/CN.4/1999/64/Add.1) the ISA is still being used.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write letters to the government authorities listed below and urge them to immediately release Raja Petra Kamaruddin without condition.

Please be informed that the AHRC has also written to the UN Special Rapporteur on the freedom of opinion and expression calling for an intervention in this case.

To support this appeal, please click here:

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear _________,

MALAYSIA: Detention without trial of a blogger

Details of victim: Raja Petra Kamaruddin, a political blogger and editor of Malaysia Today, an online alternative media, arrested on September 12; and now being detained under the Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA), a Detention Without Trial law, at the Kamunting Detention Centre in Perak. He was served with a 2-year detention order on September 23.

I am shocked to learn about the arrest and detention of blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin under the ISA.

I have learned that those arrested under these preventive detention laws have no right to defend themselves. They have no right to fair and open trial.

Under the ISA, "If the Minister is satisfied that the detention of any person is necessary with a view to preventing him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of Malaysia or any part thereof or to the maintenance of essential services therein or to the economic life thereof, he may make an order (hereinafter referred to as a detention order) directing that that person be detained for any period not exceeding two years." (s. 8(1) Internal Security Act 1960)

Since the amendments to the ISA in 1989, judicial review has been limited to questions of compliance with any procedural requirement in this Act. The Minister also has no obligation to justify or prove the allegations levied against the persons detained under these laws.

It is reported that at least 66 individuals are currently detained under the ISA at the Kamunting Detention Centre in Perak. M Manoharan, Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) legal advisers P Uthayakumar, R Kenghadharan and V Ganabatirau and T Vasantha Kumar were arrested and issued with a two year Detention Order on 13 December 2007.

I therefore call for the immediate and unconditional release of Raja Petra Kamaruddin and all others who are currently detained under the ISA and all other laws that allow for detention without trial.

I also call on the government of Malaysia to immediately repeal the Internal Security Act and other laws that allow for detention without trial to comply with the recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in his report on the mission to Malaysia on December 1998 at the then Commission on Human Rights.

Yours sincerely,

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PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:


1. Dato' Seri Syed Hamid bin Syed Jaafar Albar
Home Minister
Blok D 2, Parcel D
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan
62546 Putrajaya
MALAYSIA
Fax: +60 3 8889 3854
Tel: +60 3 8886 3299

2. Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Prime Minister
Prime Minister's Office Malaysia
Perdana Putra Building
Federal Government Administrative Centre
62502 Putrajaya
MALAYSIA
Tel: +603 8888 6000
Fax: +603 8888 3444
E-mail: ppm@pmo.gov.my

PLEASE ALSO COPY YOUR LETTERS TO:

Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman
Chairperson,
National Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM)
Tingkat 29, Menara Tun Razak,
Jalan Raja Laut,
50350 Kuala Lumpur
MALAYSIA
Fax: +60 3 2612 5620
Tel: +60 3 2612 5600

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrchk.org)

4 comments:

sivaregan said...

The detention without trail is a form of intimidation to others not to follow suit what the person under detention has created. It is like “kene rotan in front of your friends in school assembly”. Unfortunately it is not progressing as it is intended too. The more blogger are punished, the more coverage and support is given to them. RPK is definitely an inspiration although I might not always agree with how he sometimes manipulates stories. In fact after his detention I had created my own blog on politics, and I believe there are many like me and more in the future. Your blog is very informative Charles. I would definitely add a link to your blog.

Siva Regan
http://sivaregan.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

The present government has put in place someone who is oppressive, ruthless, uncaring, inhumane, power-crazy, arrogant, irresponsible and indifferent to have the sole authority to place any citizen in detention without trial at his own perception and discretion. Why should the citizen of this country accept that? This person is put in place by a so-called ruling party who has less than 30% of the voting population's support. Why are we allowing hom to have such absolute power? I think the ruling government has failed to protect the right of the citizen and allow them to be terrorised by such a rude person. The citizen must be given the right to counter this madness in empowering one person in the country to threatened the whole population. It looks like he is even more powerful than the PM and the King. His instruction to detain people as a result of his own perceived possibility of unrest from his self-proclaimed "majority" of the people (or his party member?) is most frightening and difficult for the ordinary people to comprehend. Can some rationality prevail in this country and put some sense to do what is right for the citizen and not the political party.

Why Cares said...

Let's Fast and Pray for Wisdom, Peace and Tranquility to prevail.

Let's speed up the Abolishment of ISA & Free RPK and all ISA detainees .

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri kepada seluruh Umat Islam dan Rakyat Malaysia , Maaf Zahir dan Batin.

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

Out of sight but not out of mind
Even though freedom right now is mine
Let's pray that as human beings we'll all be kind
Even though justice right now appears to be blind

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 011008
http://MotivationInMotion.blogspot.com
Wed. 1st Oct. 2008.