3 More Detained under the ISA!

PRESS STATEMENT: 10 February 2011

3 More Detained under the ISA!

Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) and Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) express its protest and disappointment over the latest arrest of 3 individuals alleged for being involved in human trafficking activities and Transnational Crime (Source: Berita Harian Online, 10 February 2011 http://www.bharian.com.my/bharian/articles/Dualelaki_seorangwanitaditahanISA/Article).

The Home Minister revealed that 2 men and one woman were arrested. One of them is from Indonesia. The detention of the three under the infamous Internal Security Act (ISA) is yet another attempt by the government to legitimize the usage of detention without trial despite the public criticism and upon the Prime Minister’s public admission that the ISA is indeed problematic and need to be reviewed.

GMI and SUARAM strongly condemn the new arrest under the ISA. GMI and SUARAM would like to know why the government invoked ISA against them even though the country have specific law being the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act 2007[1] law to curb the Human trafficking activities? GMI and SUARAM value that the security of the country is of utmost importance and do not condone any human trafficking activities, but one’s entitlement to a fair trial should not be deprived on any basis.

In the interim, the Government must immediately guarantee safety of the detainees and he/she should be allowed legal assistance immediately. Under the ISA, detainees can be held for up to 60 days in secret locations and in solitary confinement, often in a windowless cell where they lose all sense of time and are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

We strongly criticize the Government for practicing double standards on issues related to ISA. On one hand, it plans to review the ISA but on the other hand, new detention is carried out discreetly as no prior announcements were made. This incident exhibits that the ISA, is an arbitrary law and has been abused in the pretext of national security for political reasons. We urge the government to charge the said detainees in an open court; otherwise, they should be released unconditionally without any delay.

We would like to request the family of the detainees to contact us and to fight for the rights of their family members.

Finally, GMI and SUARAM urge the people of Malaysia to demand for the release of all ISA detainees and for the abolition of this unjust law left behind by the colonial masters once and for all.

Abolish the ISA!!!
Release all ISA detainees!!!
Close KEMTA!!

Released by,
GMI Secretariat and SUARAM Coordinator



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