And, when the HR Commissioner visits, which is always best to be a 'surprise' visit with no prior notice to prevent any 'sudden improvements' by the detaining authority. And, now when the HR Commissioner/s turn up at the place of detention, the person in charge CANNOT refuse entry...This is provided for in Section 4(3), which states, '(3) The visit by the Commission to any place of detention under paragraph (2)(d) shall not be refused by the person in charge of such place of detention if the procedures provided in the laws regulating such places of detention are complied with.
These visits are very important considering the number of allegations concerning the conditions of places of detentions, the allegations of torture, death in custody, etc..and these visits need to be done on a regular basis - especially police lock-ups..
Now, with BERSIH's Maria Chin being held in police custody under the special measures provided for in SOSMA, and there has been allegations made about the conditions of detention - which really seem to be not in compliance with law and best human rights standards...
As such, it is of utmost importance that SUHAKAM Commissioner/s, using the powers provided for under section 4(2)(d) do immediately make a surprise visit to the place where Maria Chin is currently being detained. The police will not be able to deny immediate access to SUHAKAM......Maria Chin Abdullah is currently being held in an undisclosed detention center in solitary confinement. She was reportedly denied access to her lawyers and family during the first 48 hours of her detention. Her lawyers later on reported that Maria Chin Abdullah is being kept in a 15 feet by 8 feet windowless cell with no bed, concrete floors, and with two light bulbs kept on for 24 hours a day....Extract from the Joint Statement issued by the International Commission of Jurists(ICJ), Human Rights Watch(HRW), Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), Fortify Rights, Forum Asia and SEAPA dated 21/11/2016 [See Malaysia: Drop Charges and Release Bersih Organizers and Supporters
Solitary confinement in a room where the lights are permanently on seems to be torture...and, I believe, it may be considered may be contrary to Malaysian law and human rights standards...
Denial of access to a lawyer may be also a violation of human rights and the law...
Please, SUHAKAM NEEDS TO ACT FAST...
|SUHAKAM visited Maria Chin today - 22/11/2016(Tweet from SUHAKAM)|
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION OF MALAYSIA ACT 1999
4 Functions and powers of the Commission.
(1) In furtherance of the protection and promotion of human rights in Malaysia, the functions of the Commission shall be-
(a) to promote awareness of and provide education in relation to human rights;(2) For the purpose of discharging its functions, the Commission may exercise any or all of the following powers:
(b) to advise and assist the Government in formulating legislation and administrative directives and procedures and recommend the necessary measures to be taken;
(c) to recommend to the Government with regard to the subscription or accession of treaties and other international instruments in the field of human rights; and
(d) to inquire into complaints regarding infringements of human rights referred to in section 12.
(a) to promote awareness of human rights and to undertake research by conducting programmes, seminars and workshops and to disseminate and distribute the results of such research;(3) The visit by the Commission to any place of detention under paragraph (2)(d) shall not be refused by the person in charge of such place of detention if the procedures provided in the laws regulating such places of detention are complied with.
(b) to advise the Government and/or the relevant authorities of complaints against such authorities and recommend to the Government and/or such authorities appropriate measures to be taken;
(c) to study and verify any infringement of human rights in accordance with the provisions of this Act;
(d) to visit places of detention in accordance with procedures as prescribed by the laws relating to the places of detention and to make necessary recommendations;
(e) to issue public statements on human rights as and when necessary; and
(f) to undertake any other appropriate activities as are necessary in accordance with the written laws in force, if any, in relation to such activities.
(4) For the purpose of this Act, regard shall be had to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 to the extent that it is not inconsistent with the Federal Constitution.