Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Only 5 released - Release the hundreds who still are in Detention under ISA and other Detention Without Trial Laws...

It is so wrong for innocent men to have been detained for so long... 7 years

Yes, they are innocent for everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law...after a fair hearing... with the opportunity to defend oneself.

Under the ISA, you can only go to court to challenge the procedural stuff - i.e. whether the Minister signed the Detention Order, etc - you do not have the avenue to challenge the absurd reason for the deprivation of your liberty...

And, it all depends on the Minister... A Home Minister can literally jail any person he does not like.... even someone who may be wooing his daughter. And no one can question the Minister's reasons...

That is why this draconian ISA and other laws that allow for Detention Without Trial must be abolished....

And now the Home Minister announces the release of these 5 people - as though he has done something great... and expects 'praises' for releasing victims of a great injustice...

Guess what.... it will not be total freedom. The Minister is going to impose conditions....

Just release them unconditionally ....

In fact, release all who are under the ISA and the other laws that allow for Detention Without Trial, ....and also the Restricted Residence Act. Remove also all persons who are not in detention ... but who are not free by reason of all kinds of restrictions and conditions...

The government should also pay them compensation for their loss of freedom...pain and sufferings..

Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein announced that five Internal Security Act detainees, who have been detained for up to seven years, will be released with certain conditions later today.

NONETwo of them have been in detention since 2002 and the remaining three since 2007 for alleged involvement in terrorist movement Jemaah Islamiah.

The five are Mat Sah Mohd Satray (left), Abdullah Daud, Mohd Nasir Ismail @ Hassan, Ahmad Kamil Md Hanapiah and Muhammad Amir Md Hanapiah.

Mat Sah and Abdullah were detained in April 2002 while the other three in May 2007.

Mat Sah was a technician at Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka and originally said to be a member of Kumpulan Militant Malaysia, and later alleged to be a JI member. He was arrested on April 18, 2002.

Abdullah meanwhile was a lecturer at UTM Johor and was arrested on Jan 3, 2002 for allegedly being a JI member as well.

A Hari Raya gift, nothing to do with by-election

In announcing their release today, Hishammuddin said they were being released as they have been fully rehabilitated.

azlan"They responded well to our rehabilitation process and expressed their regret for being involved in their past activities," said Hishammuddin at a press conference in his ministry at Putrajaya.

He also said that the release was a "Hari Raya gift" for the families of the five from the government.

He however denied that the release was due to the upcoming Bagan Pinang by-election in Negeri Sembilan.

Rights group: Free them all

The decision to free the five followed a previous release of 13 detainees in April this year, including five Hindraf leaders, the day Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak took over as prime minister.

According to Hishammuddin, there are nine more ISA detainees left at the Kamunting Detention Centre in Perak, of which four are locals and the remainder are foreign nationals from Bangladesh, Thailand, Pakistan and Singapore.

The remaining detainees are in detention over their alleged involvement in militant activities (six of them) and document forgery (3).

Rights group campaigning for the abolition of the security law demanded that the government free all the remaining detainees immediately.

"We call this a selective release. We demand that the rest be released and for the ISA to be abolished," Abolish ISA Movement coordinator E Nalini told AFP.

The wife of Mat Sah, 44-year-old Norlaila Othman, said she was thrilled at the release of her husband who has been in custody since April 2002.

"I am so excited yet at the same time I feel like I am going to live with a stranger in the same house soon," she told AFP.

"My son is really excited to find out who is his real dad, he was only eight years old when my husband was detained under the ISA, seven years is too long for him to be apart from his dad," Norlaila said.

Gov't seeks feedback on ISA review

On a separate note, Hishammuddin said that he had discussed with the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), Malaysian Syarie Lawyers Association and Malaysian Muslim Lawyers Association on a review of the ISA.

NONEHe said that their feedback was well received by the ministry and hoped that the Act is not abused or seen to be used for serving personal interests.

"What they were concerned about was the detention period and the treatment given to the detainees and they have asked us to review the mechanism," he said.

Hishammuddin also added that Suhakam wishes to see the ISA being abolished and replaced with a new Act.

However, he added, for the time being the government just "wants to improve the people's perception on ISA".

"But it is still hard to balance between national security and civil liberty in the national interests," said Hishammuddin. - Malaysiakini, 15/9/2009, Five more ISA detainees released


1 comment:

Dense said...

Maybe the government want to make more room in their prisons for another round of ISA detainees. The pressure is really on Najib et al re PKFZ fiasco so they are bound to react violently, plus there is a very sensitive by-election in the offering