August 4, 2012
Three ISA Detainees Released, More to Come?
“We can confirm that they were released last Friday,” Suhakam commissioner James Nayagam said when contacted. The trio are Malaysian S Loganathan, Sri Lankan P Valentine Jayakumar and Pakistani Malik Rehmat Ali Syakir.
All three were nabbed in 2010 for alleged human trafficking. James said that according to their detention orders, Loganathan was supposed to be released this month, Jayakumar in September while Malik was due to be out in December.
“We are happy that this has come about and hope the others will be released soon,” he said. The release follows several demonstrations by activists at the detention camp at Kamunting, Perak and a prolonged hunger strike by a group of detainees.
Forty-two other detainees are still held under the Act, with about half being foreigners.
‘Instruction by Minister’
Citing the ministry’s public safety and security chief assistant secretary Aswanjaya Abdul Karim, Anti-ISA Movement (GMI) chairperson Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh said the release was upon instruction by the Minister.
“(Aswanjaya) said that the trio were released by the minister upon reviewing the security report sent to him,” he said in a joint statement with Suaram coordinator Syukri Razab.
Syed Ibrahim said that while GMI welcome the release, it condemns the selective nature. “What about the other detainees? Shouldn’t they be released seeing that the ISA has been repealed?” he asked.
He added that the early release of the three detainees also shows that the minister has the power to release the detainees even though they have not served out their full detention orders.
“Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein’s excuse that all detainees must serve out their detention orders is no longer relevant,” he said.As such he urged the minister to release all 42 remaining detainees and to explain why they have not been released along with the three. GMI also urges the ministry to make public how it decides if someone is a security risk or not.