View Full Version : Terrorising the people in the name of anti-terrorism ?

11-12-2002, 10:01 PM
Malaysia using terror war as excuse to restrict rights: rights group

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 9 (AFP) - Malaysia is restricting civil and political
liberties under the guise of fighting the war against terrorism, a human
rights group charged Monday.

The Voice of the Malaysian People (Suaram) said in its annual report that
the government had used the fallout from the September 11, 2001 attacks on
the United States as a convenient excuse for denying basic human rights.

"Security laws, especially the Internal Security Act (ISA), were invoked
throughout the year, resulting in the arrest and detention of numerous
alleged terrorists," Suaram said.

Malaysia has detained more than 70 alleged Islamic militants since the
middle of last year under the ISA, which allows indefinite detention without

But the report noted 113 detainees were in custody under the ISA at the
Kemunting Detention Centre in northern Perak state.

Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi immediately denied the Suaram
allegations and defended the use of the controversial law.

"We will make sure human rights will not be violated in Malaysia. But we
have to make sure those who act in the name of human rights do not violate
the rights of others," he told reporters.

The deputy premier, who is also the interior minister, said the government
believed that "if freedom is given to everyone to exercise ... at the end of
it nobody will be able to live in peace. We must restrain ourselves."

Suaram said basic freedoms such as the right to liberty, freedom of speech
and assembly were further eroded in 2002.

"Repressive laws were continuously invoked by the executive against attempts
to assert our basic human rights and the rule of law," it said.

Suaram director Kua Kia Soong described as "alarming" the increasing number
of deaths in police detention, from six in 2000 to 18 by September of this
year. A total 34 people have died in Malaysian police custody since 2000,
the report said.

Suaram also criticised the government-funded Human Rights Commission of
Malaysia (Suhakam), formed three years ago, accusing it of sometimes acting
"like a cosmetic face to the government's human rights record."