This morning, Lawyers For Liberty's Fadiah Nadwa Fikri and Farhana Abdul Halim, who are representing nine of the detainees, met them at the Kamunting detention camp here for a two-hour dialogue session.
According to Fadiah, the nine expressed their frustration that despite the ISA being repealed, they were continued to be kept in detention without any indications about their release.
"If the (Home) Ministry has the evidence then let them charge the detainees in court so that they can defend themselves. Otherwise release them as the allegations against them are very serious in nature – human trafficking, terrorism and saying that they have bombs, arms and guns," she said.
"Even if the ISA had been abolished, the abuse is still continuing and they are being deprived of their right to be tried in court.
"The police keep telling them that they will keep their promises, saying they will be released soon. So they hold on to these promises but they are then told later that they are not eligible. Why play on their mental condition when they and their families are waiting for the release date?" she asked.
One week deadline
Fadiah said these detainees would wait for another week to see if Suhakam had made progress with the request for release or to be charged in court.
"Otherwise they will go on an indefinite hunger strike and even two foreigners have made up their minds to fast unto death if a quick solution is not found for their release," she told FMT.
The two foreigners are a Sri Lankan and an Indonesian.
The Malaysian detainees have been accused of being members of Darul Islam (religious extremism) and the Sri Lankan was detained for human trafficking while the Indonesian for being a member of Jemaah Santri Melayu (religious extremism) .
Fadiah said the Malaysians were part of the group of 11 Malaysians from Tawau who were detained under the ISA for alleged terrorism activities.
"They were arrested in November last year after (Prime Minister) Najib (Tun Razak) had announced on Malaysia Day that the ISA will be abolished.
"When they were put under interrogation during the 60-day detention, they were tortured, beaten and repeatedly told to confess that they were members of Darul Islam," she alleged.
"So why this method of getting a confession under torture which is wrong under the Geneva Convention? This shows that ISA is used to terrorise people to rob them of their right to a fair trial," she said.
Suhakam's version disputed
Among these detained, she said, were two teachers, Mohd Nazri Dollah who taught for 11 years in SMK Kinahitan in Tawau and conducted weekly religious talks in the army base there while the other, Bakar Baba, taught for 15 years in Tawau.
According to Fadiah, another detainee, Muadz Hakim was wrongly arrested in a case of mistaken identity.
"The police were actually looking for a man named Johnny @ Muadz Paterli but instead arrested my client whose protest of mistaken identity to the police went unheard," she alleged.
The two lawyers were unable to meet the rest of the Tawau detainees as they did not have their details from Home Ministry.
Earlier on May 12, seven ISA detainees had gone on a hunger strike but with the intervention of Suhakam Commissioner James Nayagam, the protesters had called off their hunger strike on May 18.
Nayagam had promised the 45 ISA detainees of 25 foreigners and 20 Malaysians that he would inform them within two weeks on his talks with the Home Ministry on their fate.
The Suhakam commissioner had said that the 45 detainees had misunderstood the recent Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill that was passed by the Dewan Rakyat last month.
He clarified that the new law only applies to the new detainees and not to the current 45 detainees who have to finish their individual terms of detention.
Nayagam had painted a rosy picture of the detainees's health condition, stating that they were well looked after without any form of victimisation.
Denying this, Fadiah said: "The hunger strike detainees were weakened by the hunger strike and were isolated and locked up in small rooms without fans and they had to sleep on the floor."
"This is what was told to me by the Sri Lankan detainee," she added.Read More @ Source
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