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Malaysia: Four Released from ISA, But Still Not Free

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Convened by SUARAM, FORUM-ASIA member, GMI is a forum against the Internal Security Act (ISA) in Malaysia that welcomes the release of some of those being held under the ISA. However these detainees are still under restrictions while many others remain in detention.  

Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) has received information that four ISA detainees who were allegedly Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) members had been released conditionally under Restrictive Residence Act (1933) on 15, 16 and 17 August 2007. They have been detained for more than four years since 2002.

The four detainees are:

1.      Shukry Omar Talib (Sent to Kamunting on 22 Feb 2002),
2.      Mohammed Bin Kadar (Sent to Kamunting on 28 Feb 2002),
3.      Mohd Azmi Bin Abdul Karim (Sent to Kamunting on 16 Jan 2002), and
4.      Shahime Bin Ramli (Sent to Kamunting on 8 March 2003).

GMI welcomes the release of all the 4 ISA detainees as there has been no proof of their involvement in JI activities. We deem that the consistent and persistent campaign to call for the release of ISA detainees has contributed to their release, especially in this month of August which has been determined by GMI as anti-ISA campaign month.'

However, we regret that the detainees are still not free despite being released from the detention, as they have to follow strict conditions under Restricted Residence Act. The order only delays the process of the former ISA detainees returning to normal life and be accepted by the society. We therefore strongly urge the government to lift the order imposed on these detainees.

GMI is annoyed by the selective releases of the ISA detainees. GMI also questions why only four were released when 40 other detainees were also detained under the same allegations in Kamunting Detention Camp. Neither of them has been tried in the court.

This unscrupulous practice has exhibited the true colour of the infamous ISA, which is extremely arbitrary and has nothing to do with national security. It has further confirmed that the ISA is only a political tool to silent dissidents and critics of the government.

GMI calls on the government to release or prosecute all ISA detainees in Kamunting Detention Camp and Police Remand Centre (PRC) in Kuala Lumpur without any conditions. GMI reiterates that the government should look into recommendations by the Police Royal Commission to repeal Restrictive Residence Act (1933) and should abolish the practice of detention without trial, which contradicts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the spirit of our Federal Constitution.

GMI will continue with its anti-ISA campaign by organising a simultaneous leafleting event all over the country on 22 August 2007.

Abolish ISA!
Release all ISA detainees!
Close down Kamunting Detention Camp!
Released By,
(Secretariat of GMI)
03 77843525