Thursday, September 17, 2009

Suhakam Wants Remaining Nine ISA Detainees Released

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) wants the Home Ministry to release the remaining nine Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees at the Kamunting Detention Centre in Taiping.

Suhakam vice chairman Tan Sri Simon Sipaun said the commission felt, all the ISA detainees can be released while a Thailand and Pakistan national charged with falsifying documents, can be charged in an open court.

"There are only nine detainees left in the centre and from the total, only four are Malaysians.

"We met and had a dialogue with eight of the detainees today...those charged for falsifying documents should be charged in court and given a chance to defend themselves," he told reporters here Thursday after visiting the Taiping Prison and Kamunting with Suhakam commissioner Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam and a number of officers.

He added that they could not meet the ninth detainee, the longest serving ISA detainee in the camp (seven years), as he had isolated himself in a toilet, believed to be due to depression.

Simon said since Suhakam was formed in 2000, the commission had for the first time been involved in steps to review the ISA and make recommendations to the Home Ministry.

We feel ISA need to be replaced with a new law that can specifically deal with offences that threaten the security of the nation, but it will take time, and we have asked the government to review the ISA so that it will not be misused or misinterpreted," he said.

Meanwhile, Siva said since Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak became the Prime Minister, many changes had taken place and as a result only nine detainees remained at the centre, the lowest in the history.

Siva added that Suhakam was also satisfied with the conditions at the Taiping prison. - BERNAMA

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