Release Guantanamo Detainees; What about ISA Detainees?



Release Guantanamo Detainees; What about ISA detainees?

The Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI)/ Abolish ISA Movement (AIM) is annoyed by the statement from Foreign Minister Rais Yatim, The government is hopeful that two of its citizens being held at the Guantanamo Bay camp will be released and sent home after Barack Obama is sworn in as US president”, (Malaysiakini 18 November 2008).

He also added that “No charges have been brought against them (Mohamad Farik Amin and Mohammed Nazir Lep), and this is worse than the ISA (Internal Security Act) “. What about ISA? Until today there is not even a single ISA detainee that has been charged. And the question is what did the Minister meant by “it is worse than ISA? Does this shows that the Minister agreed that ISA is a law which denies trial and it is a draconian law?

We wish to call upon the Minister to stop practicing double standards. We wish to point out to the Minister and the government that the ISA and the Kamunting detention camp in Malaysia is no better than Guantanamo Bay camp. Many are detained arbitrarily and without trial under the ISA for so many years. Calling for fair trial and release of the two Guantanamo detainees, while on the other hand denying the rights to trial of hundreds in our own country only exposes the government’s hypocrisy.

Currently there are five alleged JI (Jemaah Islamiyyah) detainees who have been held under the ISA for seven years. They are Yazid bin Sufaat, Suhaimi bin Mokhtar, Abdullah bin Daud, Mat Sah bin Mohd Satray and Shamsuddin bin Sulaiman. Many more are being held there for more than 2 to 6 years. Just like those held in Guantanamo Bay, the Kamunting detainees have been subjected to arbitrary arrest and detention without trial, with the conditions of their detention kept well away from the eyes of the public.

Practicing arbitrary arrest and detention without trial by hanging on to an anachronistic law which was formulated to serve a real situation of emergency many decades ago only disgraces Malaysia in the eyes of the world. Setting up a special camp (Kamunting) with the aim, among others of concealing the conditions of their detention from the public eye and systematically inflicting torture on the detainees, serve to further damage the country’s reputation and confirms the belief that such laws inevitably lead to abuse.

We therefore call upon the government to apply the same principles to the ISA detainees and Kamunting camp, charge them or otherwise free them. Failure to do so will lead the people to conclude that the government is practicing double standards. On what ground can the Malaysian government demand for fair trial if it can’t put things right in its own country?

Nalini E.
GMI Secretariat


7 Comments on “Release Guantanamo Detainees; What about ISA Detainees?”

  1. Patricia says:

    You know, Michelle, your very title is the first thing that popped into my mind when I heard about the Guantanamo detainees thingy. One would think that that was a no-brainer. But, apparently, not!


  2. Paul Warren says:

    Its a matter of foot in the mouth disease. Shows you the base mentality that is needed to become Minister in this country. when I read that report yesterday, I was wondering the same…total idiot he is.

  3. bow says:

    Majority of Guantanamo detainees are either enemy combatants or Al-Queda terrorists, not political prisoners detained under ISA, obviously your minister has problem understanding international affair or intent to mislead Malaysians in general, hope he can stop making Malaysia laughing stock again internationally…sigh!

  4. Gadfly says:

    Should ‘enemy combatants’ and ‘terrorists’ be deprived of human rights as stated in the Geneva Convection? Detention without trial, making the detainees absolutely defenseless, opens the floodgates of vast opportunity for cruelty and sadism as evidenced in waterboarding of Guantannamo. Nelson Mandala was once categorised as ‘terrorist’. The fact is dissenters are easily classified as ‘terrorists’.
    I agree.

  5. bowlampar says:

    Geneva convection rule require signatory country to provide trial to captured prisoner of war not terrorist! wait till three thousand Malaysians murder by islamic terrorists then Malaysian will have the right to demand human rights for terrorist.

  6. Gadfly says:

    Friedrich Nietzsche: Beware, don’t become a monster when you fight against a monster! ( I remember something like this)

    If we accept that it is OK to violate the central principle of human right, it is very easy to condone one evil after another. It is a slippery rope.

    If detention without trial is OK, torture is OK. If torture is OK, ethnic cleansing is OK. If ethnic cleaning is OK, genocide is OK.If genocide is OK, then war crimes are OK. So long if we can label the other as ‘enemy’. I do not mean there are no evil people. But, I believe there is some bottom line in human conduct, be it in times of peace or war.

    He who comes with justice must come with clean hands, so the legal thinking goes. There is some line that human beings should not cross. Once crossed, it is a point of no-return until evil exhausts itself.

  7. […] do with Mohd Farik Amin and Mohd Nazir Lep. They are Malaysians detained at Gitmo since 2003 who, according to this report, were either innocent or were not granted their inherent rights to a free and fair trial. Rather […]

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