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Malaysia: What is the Meaning of 50 Years of Independence if the State Still Uses the ISA?

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The Malaysian Internal Security Act (ISA) has been in force for 47 years, used to stifle dissent and detain prisoners of conscience. FORUM-ASIA member GMI calls for the abolishment of the ISA and all forms of detention without trial.
Today August 1, 2007 marks the 47th anniversary of the enactment of the notorious Internal Security Act. The ISA of 1960 was originally enacted to succeed emergency laws aimed at combating the communist insurgency during the 1940s and 1950s, has since then been used against those who commit acts deemed to be "prejudicial to the security of Malaysia", or threatening to the "maintenance of essential services" or "economic life". The government arbitrarily determines which acts fall into these categories and, using a loose interpretation of the legislation, has detained scores of individuals under the ISA, among which are prisoners of conscience, trade unionists, teachers, religious activist and community workers. We are celebrating 50 years of independence but what is the meaning of it if the state still uses ISA by detaining persons without trial and without any form of judicial process?"

To view the full text, please click here (in .pdf).