Press Conference Statement
by DAPSY Chairman, Teng Chang Khim  in conjunction with the visit by DAPSY leaders to express solidarity with the participants of the ISA hunger strike
at the PAS headquarters in Taman Melewar Gombak
on Wednesday, 17th April 2002

DAPSY reiterates the call for an immediate end to the unfair detention without trial of the six reform activists under the ISA and has appealed for the support of the IUSY to put pressure on the government to act

DAPSY reiterates the call to the government to end the unfair detention without trial of the six reform activists, namely Mohamad Ezam Mohamad Nor, Hishamuddin Rais, Chua Tian Chang, Saari Sungib, Dr. Badrulamin Bahron and Lokman Noor Adam, under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

The government cannot continue to turn a blind eye to and remain unmoved by the pleas and cries of the detainees who have resorted to a hunger strike to protest their inhumane and indefinite detention out of desperation after having exhausted all possible avenues.

In advancing the cause of the political detainees, even the former Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who himself is under incarceration, has embarked on a hunger strike two days ago, following on the heels of a group of hunger-strikers at the PAS headquarters.   

To further mobilise international support for the plight of the six detainees, the DAPSY has appealed for the support of the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) to put greater pressure on the Malaysian government to heed the calls from various quarters to free the detainees. 

IUSY, which comes under the parent body of Socialist International (SI), the oldest and largest political coalition, is composed of 143 socialist, social democratic and labour youth organisations from more than a hundred countries around the globe and committed to the struggle for freedom and human rights, equality, democracy and universal and all-encompassing solidarity. 

The DAPSY National Secretary, Hew Kuan Yau, who is also the Vice President of IUSY, had yesterday written to the IUSY Secretary General, Enzo Amendola on an urgent appeal to all 143 fraternal parties of IUSY to protest to the Malaysian authorities, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, against the unfair detention of the six reform activists and demand that the detainees be formally prosecuted in a court of law or released immediately and unconditionally if there is no evidence against them as well as the abolishment of the draconian ISA. 

We hope that in the face of increased international pressure as well as national pressure from various NGOs, political parties and concerned individuals led by the Abolish ISA Movement (AIM), the government would be forced to respond to the plight of the six detainees. And this the government must do if it does not want to suffer further embarrassment for having a reputation of being heartless and oppressive with little regard for human rights when it comes to quelling the legitimate dissent of its political opponents. 

Must a thousand cries be uttered before the government stop turning a deaf ear to them? Once again, DAPSY pleads with the Malaysian government: Show some compassion and have the humanitarian sense to do the right thing.