Sunday, 6 January 2008

ALL Malaysians MUST SUPPORT the GMI's Fight to ABOLISH the ISA at ALL Costs

The police today used water cannon to disperse a crowd who had earlier defied a ban and successfuly held a short candlelight vigil for the ISA detainees at Dataran Merdeka. Read here for more on Malaysiakini

Malaysian Unplug says:

The right to demonstrate peacefully is a democratic right of every Malaysian citizen.

Our present UMNO-led Government is adopting Police State tactics by using tax-payer funded police personnel to harm and to hurt innocent citizens who are demonstrating peacefully.

The law that denies peaceful demonstration is a law designed to entrench dictatorship of the political parties ruling this country since 1957.

All Malaysians must stand up to be counted to abhor and to seek to abolish these laws that infringe on the fundamental rights of freedom of every Malaysian, irrespective of race, colour, sex and religion.

The message of discontent of these laws should also be sent to this Government via the ballot box.

An Example of UMNO's Personality Cult of a Police State Mentality
(Photo courtesy of
Rocky's Bru Blog)

Read here the full text of Malaysia's Internal Security Act-1960 (ISA) and here

ISA detainees are typically held at a prison in Kamunting. Read
here for more

First 60 days.

A person detained under the ISA during the first 60 days is held incommunicado, with no access to the outside world. Furthermore, lawyers and family members are not allowed access to the detainee during this initial period.

If a two-year detention order is signed, the detainee is taken to the Kamunting Detention Centre to serve his or her two-year term, during which family members are allowed to visit. Otherwise, the detainee may be released.

Torture is reportedly a major part of an ISA detainee's daily life.

Former detainees have testified to being subjected to severe physical and psychological torture that include one or more of the following: physical assault, forced nudity, sleep deprivation, round-the-clock interrogation, death threats, threats of bodily harm to family members, including threats of rape and bodily harm to their children.

Also, detainees are confined in individual and acutely small cells with no light and air, in what is believed to be secret holding cells.

These interrogation techniques and acts of torture are designed to humiliate and frighten detainees into revealing their weaknesses and breaking down their defences

ISA detainees have even turned up with bruises, but such results of assaults will not be investigated by the police.

ISA detention is effectively a free-for-all for the police to torture and assault the detainees.

Solitary confinement takes place in tiny cells that measure roughly 3-feet by 3-feet, with hardly any room to kneel and sit. These cells will not have any drainage system and are hardly cleaned.

In Anwar Ibrahim's account of his solitary confinement, he mentioned that his cell was filthy and had an unbearable stench. Excrement and urine from previous detainees are left uncleaned within the cell.

Although physical abuse is typically limited to bruising, the detainees are seldom beaten up to the point of being disabled, or having broken bones. There have been cases, however, of female detainees being raped and male detainees being sodomized.

The Application of ISA in Recent Cases

The ISA has been consistently used against people who criticise the government and defend human rights.

Known as the "white terror", the ISA has been the most feared and despised, yet convenient tool for the state to suppress opposition and open debate.

The Act is an instrument maintained by the ruling government to control public life and civil society.

The ISA was used extensively during the 1987 Operation Lalang in which Opposition members were silenced by the UMNO government through the use of ISA.

Many opposition leaders were detained without trial, evidence or reason.

The ISA was also used to detain Anwar Ibrahim to buy some time for the police to fabricate evidence against him, and for the Attorney-General's Chambers to invent a plausible case against him. However, in recent years, all the previous charges against Anwar have since been proven to be fraudulent and he has been acquitted from every single one of them.

The most recent application of ISA was against Hindu activists belonging to the group HINDRAF who voiced out against the UMNO government's policies that resulted in Malaysian Indians being marginalized and sidelined from the country's development.

In order to silence this criticism and to cover-up UMNO's decades-long racist policies, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi personally signed the detention order that allows the leaders of HINDRAF to be detained without trial for two years, with the option for the detention order to be renewed indefinitely. Read here for more

From Malaysiakini: Read here for more on Malaysiakini and HERE

The Abolish the ISA Movement (GMI) chairperson Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh said GMI, a coalition of civil society groups opposing the ISA, vowed that GMI would continue to lobby public support against the ISA.

"This law is unjust. I think it is time to voice our human rights," he said, adding that the group would hold more protests.

GMI (Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA) is a coalition of more than 80 civil society groups opposing the draconian Internal Security Act.

Press Banging batons against their shields, Malaysian police Saturday chased away hundreds of demonstrators who held a candlelight vigil to protest against a decades-old law allowing indefinite detention without trial.

A water cannon fired a single burst to drive away the last stragglers among the crowd in downtown Kuala Lumpur, ending a 90-minute standoff.

Police had banned the rally to protest the Internal Security Act.

It was the latest in a series of protests that had rocked the government in recent months. Any gathering of more than four people requires a police permit.

About 300 people lit candles and gathered behind a police barricade that prevented them from marching to the nearby Independence Square, where they had originally planned to hold the protest.

V Raidu, brother of another detained Hindraf leader V Ganabatirau, told Malaysiakini, “I’m not just supporting my brother but all ISA detainees. I know the pain the detainees’ family go through.”

The police today used water cannon to disperse a crowd who had earlier defied a ban and successfuly held a short candlelight vigil at Dataran Merdeka.

Malaysian opposition and human rights groups have repeatedly called for the ISA, a colonial-era law allowing indefinite detention without trial, to be repealed, saying the law is abused to silence dissidents. The government has said it is necessary to protect national security and ensure stability.


(Photos courtesy of Malaysiakini )

We wanted it to be a peaceful gathering, despite the police restrictions. We didn’t want to be confrontational,” chairperson Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh said.

GMI submitted the appeal yesterday in a bid to reverse the Dang Wangi district police’s decision to deem the vigil illegal.

However, activists and family members of Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees will still try to hold the vigil near Dataran Merdeka, said Syed Ibrahim when contacted this morning.

The police have closed Jalan Raja, opposite Dataran Merdeka, to prevent people from gathering at the historical square. They have also advised motorists to avoid the road.

Yesterday, Dang Wangi OCPD ACP Zulkarnain Abdul Rahman claimed that GMI had “refused” to submit an application form for the gathering when told to do so during a meeting on Wednesday.

GMI however refuted this, claiming that the documents had already been submitted on Dec 26, 2007 which was followed up by a letter on Dec 28.

Zulkarnain had acknowledged the letter and replied on Jan 2, stating that the permit to hold the event was denied among others, on grounds of national security and that GMI was not a formally registered body.

The vigil was suppose to take place last month on Dec 22 following the ISA detention of five Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders on Dec 13, but was postponed after the police insisted that a permit be sought.

Syed Ibrahim added that GMI was also adamant in proceeding with the vigil to reaffirm their rights to assemble peacefully as enshrined under the Federal Constitution.

Zulkarnain had said stern action would be taken against individuals involved in an illegal assembly under the Police Act.