Monday, 14 May 2012

ISA detainees on hunger strike for freedom

ISA detainees on hunger strike for freedom
Several Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees held at the Kamunting Detention Camp, Perak are on a hunger strike to call for their unconditional release, according to a human rights watchdog Suaram.

In a press release today, Suaram did not reveal the number of detainees involved by claimed that the hunger strike had gone on for four days.

NONESuaram executive director Nalini Elumalai (right) said they were informed of this of by the detainees’ family members.

“The detainees demanded for their immediate and unconditional release or they will continue with the hunger strike until the government release them.  The detainees do not understand why they are still detained in Kamunting while the ISA has already been repealed,” she said.

She urged the Home Ministry and the Malaysian Human Rights Commission to check on the detainee’s condition and issue public statements on the matter, and that the Home Ministry either charge them in open court or release them.

In addition, she urged members of the public to write letters to pressure the relevant authorities to act, including the prime minister and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

azlanWhen contacted for details, Nalini said at least 10 detainees out of about 50 detainees are involved in the hunger strike, with more joining every day.

However, she said the information available remains sketchy as it had just reached them today from family members of two detainees, which is why Suaram had called on Suhakam to investigate.

She also declined to reveal the identities of the detainees participating in the hunger strike, citing a request from the two families. The names of the other detainees are also not known.

The Dewan Negara had on May 9 passed the Security Offences Bill (Special Measures) 2012 that would supplant the ISA.

Home Minister Hishammddin Hussien had previously mooted the possibility of giving ISA detainees a fair trial, but has asked for time to clarify his position.

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