Friday 29 August 2008

Malaysia Detains Six People Under the ISA

29th August 2008

Malaysia detains six under ISA

Internal Security Act allows for indefinite detention without trial

"KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIA has imprisoned six more men under a strict security law that allows for indefinite detention without trial, a rights group said on Friday.

The Abolish ISA Movement, which campaigns to repeal the Internal Security Act, found out recently that the six men were detained in July under the law, said group chairman Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh.

Home Ministry officials could not immediately be reached to confirm the group's claim.

Mr Syed Ibrahim said the group's lawyers discovered the new names on a list of detainees when they visited the special detention centre for those arrested under the act. They do not know why the men were arrested, he said.

'I'm quite shocked and annoyed to see what the government is doing,' he said. 'We have been speaking out against this law, and here we have six more detainees.'

Rights groups have long campaigned against the act, saying alleged criminals should be tried in court. But the government argues the act is necessary for national security.

Malaysia is currently holding 68 people, including 33 foreigners, under the act, Deputy Home Minister Chor Chee Heung was quoted by the national news agency Bernama as saying this week. It was not clear if the number includes the six reported by the Abolish ISA group.

Four Indonesian alleged terrorism suspects held under the act were released and deported early this month, the group said in a statement.

Two of the men were arrested in 2002 for alleged links to regional militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, while the other two were held in 2006 for alleged links to another militant group, known as Darul Islam.

Most of the other security act detainees are alleged to have links with militant groups. But the law has also been used against the government's political opponents.

Among those in detention are five ethnic Indian activists who were held last year after organizing a mass protest for equal rights for all races in Malaysia were detained under the security act. The government says they were arrested because they had become a threat to national security." – AP


Summum ius, summa iniuria

- The extreme law is the greatest injustice

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