Archive for October 2009

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009 04:14:00
SIPAUNSIPAUN: Suhakam is clear. The ISA must go

THE Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) remains steadfast in its call for the repeal of the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Contacted yesterday, Suhakam vice-chairman Tan Sri Simon Sipaun said: “I had made it clear that Suhakam has not  deviated from its original  stand that the ISA be abolished.”

He explained that Suhakam’s stand was communicated to Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein during a meeting together with Bar Council representatives  on Sept 15 to clarify the situation.

As such, Sipaun said, the minister must have misunderstood Suhakam’s stand if he had said the human rights group had agreed there was a need to retain the ISA, although it should be amended.

Sipaun explained that while a new legislation would take time to come  into effect, Suhakam wants a review of the ISA to make it more human rights-friendly as an interim measure.

There was at no time in the meeting, Sipaun insisted, that he or Suhakam representatives had agreed that the ISA should be retained.

“The ISA is against human rights principles, where it is not right that a minister or police can arrest a person without trial or reason.”

He pointed out that, in a published recommendation to the government in 2003, Suhakam had called for the repeal of the ISA, so that it could be replaced by a more human rights-friendly legislation.

“No one should be deprived of individual liberty or the right to defend himself. People should be given the chance to be innocent until proven guilty. Suhakam is still very concerned over the abuses of the ISA.”

While visiting the detention camp in Kamunting, Siapun said, he met with a detainee who had been there for seven years.

“They should not be detained for such a long period. If there was evidence of crime, he should be sent to the court to be tried and not be kept in the detention camp.”


FREE ALL ISA DETAINEES "The land belongs to the countless numbers of people who are dead, the few who are living and the multitude of those yet to be born". child2