12 July, 2007

Are We Still In A State Of Emergency To Resort To Such “Emergency” Law As Isa?

Are We Still In A State Of Emergency To Resort To Such “Emergency” Law As Isa?

Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA

Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) expresses our regret and condemnation on the statement of the Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that “ISA still relevant and useful” as published in the Malaysiakini (9th July 2007). Are we still in a state of emergency to resort to such “emergency” law as ISA?

First of all, the very fact that the ISA vested absolute power in the Internal Security Minister to make indefinite detention order without trial and without any form of judicial due process is blatantly in contradiction with international human rights standards. Everyone should be entitled to the right to legal counsel and the right to an open and fair trial before conviction and punishment.

The Prime Minister also stated that “matters pertaining to the rights of detainees will be given due consideration and assessment.” We seriously question how this could be done when the basic tenet of ISA is to detain a person without trial. When a person is detained without being tried in court, a basic right has already been gravely violated.

GMI supports the suggestions of improvements stated in the Royal Police Commission report. GMI was one of the parties involved in handing over reports and raising suggestions. However GMI would like to remind the Prime Minister that the same promises to implement the Royal Police Commission’s recommendations were made several times but these implementations were never in sight since the report was tabled in 2005. We strongly advise the Prime Minister not to make promises he cannot keep.

GMI reiterates that the government should look into the recommendations by the Police Royal Commission to repeal ISA and abolish the practice of detention without trial.

Secondly, there are enough laws with judicial safeguards in the country that are capable of dealing with any issue of internal security. There is absolutely no justification to resort to indefinite detention without trial. GMI would like to remind the Prime Minister that the ISA itself has served as an instrument of terror of the State. We urge the authorities to learn from its past experiences and refrain from playing the role of judiciary. Even the young political players in UMNO are suggesting the easy way out to tackle bloggers by using ISA.

GMI views the statement of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is none other than another stale attempt to justify the continuous use of ISA in the name of national security when in fact, it is more for the interests of the ruling party and political survival. We, as well as all Malaysians, believe in maintaining peace and security of the people and nation. However, we strongly believe that this should not be at the expense of violating basic human rights as enshrined in the Constitution and as propagated by all religion.

We call on the Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to immediately heed the recommendation of the National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) to repeal the ISA and return the legitimate right of the people to a fair and open judicial system.




Abolish the ISA!!!
Release All ISA Detainees!!!
Close Down Kamunting Detention Camp!!!



Released By,

Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh

Chairman GMI

(Source: Suara Rakyat Malaysia-Suaram)





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