Call on Suhakam to immediately set up an independent commission of inquiry into the alleged assault of the "ISA 5"

Press Statement
by Loke Siew Fook

(Petaling Jaya, Sunday): According to a Malaysiakini report yesterday, the camp wardens assaulted the 5 Reformasi activists who were currently detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in Kamunting detention camp. Quoting Keadilan vice-president Dr Xavier Jayakumar, 30 officers armed with riot gear and plainclothes charged into the dormitory of the detainees.

It was alleged that Tian Chua and the other detainees including Hishamuddin Rais and Lokman Adam were slapped, pushed to the ground and handcuffed. Dr Xavier also claimed that Tian Chua's sarong was removed in the struggle and some officers even sat on him.

DAPSY deplores and condemns such a high-handed treatment against the detainees by the camp wardens. Detaining them under the ISA is already most undemocratic as their right to defend themselves under a trial is denied, such an act of harassing and assaulting them in the detention camp is most deplorable and unacceptable in a civilized society! Is this yet another example of "First world infrastructure, Third world mentality" in Malaysia?

DAPSY calls on Suhakam to immediately set up an independent commission of inquiry to investigate the allegation. Suhakam must uphold its primary statuary duty to protect human rights in Malaysia. If the investigation found that the wardens are guilty, those involved in the assault must be brought to justice and be penalized to serve as an important lesson to all other prisons and detention camps wardens to respect the fundamental basic human rights of the prisoners and detainees.

The Minister of the Home Affairs, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should immediately order for the suspension of all the wardens involved in the alleged assault pending for investigation. The Home Ministry should give its fullest cooperation to Suhakam to conduct a free and fair investigation of the alleged assault including giving its commissioners full access to the detention camp to interview the "ISA 5".

DAPSY reiterates our solidarity with the "ISA 5" and urges the Home Ministry to immediately release the 5 detainees under ISA unconditionally especially Dr. Badrul Amin Bahron who was reportedly very ill. There is no reason for the continuously detention of the "ISA 5" as after a full two years of detention, the government has yet to produce a single proof that the 5 detainees are a threat to national security.


* Loke Siew Fook,  DAPSY National Secretary