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Malaysia should set out human rights record straight when condemning the detention without trial practiced by US in Guantanamo Bay

Media Statement
by Teresa Kok


(Kuala Lumpur, Thursday) : The statement of Parliamentary Secretary of Foreign Affairs Shabery Cheek in Parliament yesterday that there is no demand for the abolition of the Internal Security Act (ISA) and that ISA detention cannot be compared to the detention in Guantanamo Bay reflects his great ignorance over the demands made by various foreign and local organizations, including SUHAKAM on the abolition of the Act.

Shabery Cheek said that the cruelty and grave human rights violation in Guantanamo Bay, such as the stamping and flushing of Quran pages in the toilet is something unheard of in ISA detention.

Shabery Cheek must have conveniently forgotten that there are sworn affidavits from ISA detainees stating that they were forced to drink urine, and one was stripped and made to enact the crucification of Jesus Christ.

He told parliament the Secretary General of United Nations has demanded the detention center in Guantanamo Bay to be closed but no demands were made for the ISA be repealed.

The fact remains that detention at Guantanamo Bay and Kamunting Camp are detention without trial.

I am surprised that Shabery Cheek seems ignorant that ISA has tarnished the image of Malaysia in the international community. Many resolutions, condemning the Malaysian government for using ISA to detain political dissidents, have been passed in many international conventions in the past, including Socialist International World Conference, Convention of Council of Liberal Democrats (CALD), International Parliamentary Union (IPU) Conference etc.

The stress and hardships suffered by detainees and their family members in Guantanamo Bay and Kamunting Detention Camp are the same. The long detention and mental torture suffered by the detainees have even driven them to mental
breakdowns. This is the similarity of both Kamunting Detention Camp and Guantanamo Bay.

While the Malaysian government has requested the US Government for a fair trial of the two Malaysians who are suspected to be involved in the al-Qaeda terrorism activities, we should set out human rights record straight by repealing detention without trial under the ISA.



*Chong Eng, MP for Bukit Mertajam and DAP Deputy Secretary General

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