Anwar Ibrahim and Other Detainees Tortured by Police


Urgent Appeal Case: UA990114

7 January 1999: The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Rahim Noor resigned. It has been alleged that Rahim Noor was directly responsible for the injuries inflicted upon Anwar Ibrahim on the first night of his detention. Detainees are often beaten by police. Rahim Noors’ resignation confirmed the existence of the abuse of power within the police force. The former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and many other ordinary citizens have suffered from the abuse of power by the police. Widespread misconduct by police and security force has resulted in a near collapse of public confidence in the government.

Human rights organisations are calling for Rahim Noor to face disciplinary action and prosecution in relation to the assault of former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, as well as any other gross misconduct of the police. Other police officers involved in this case, including those who have acted to suppress such information, should also be charged and brought to court immediately.

Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who was also the Home Minister, was responsible for the functioning of the Attorney General’s chamber and the police department.

On 8 January 1999 Dr Mahathir removed himself from the positions of Home Minister and Finance Minister. Dr Mahathir appointed the Foreign Minister as Deputy Prime Minister and the Home Minister. In this cabinet reshuffle, Dr Mahathir also named his close friend Daim Zainuddin as First Finance Minister.


5 January 1999: Attorney-General Mohtar Abdullah revealed that the police were responsible for the injuries suffered by the former Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, while he was in legal custody. But the person or persons responsible for Anwar’s injuries had not been


In September 1998 Mr Anwar appeared in court for trials on charges of sodomy and corruption, with a black eye. 20 September 1998 Anwar was remove from his Deputy Prime Minister after an apparent policy rift with Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Then Anwar’s supporters launched massive streets protest, he was arrested and charged with five counts of sodomy and five of corruption. Anwar denies all the charges saying he was framed by political opponents seeking to destroy his career.

In 1970’s, Anwar as young person called for democratic reforms. Later in 1982 he joined UMNO, the ruling party, and in 1991 become finance minister. 20 September 1998 Anwar was arrested under the draconian Internal Security Act [ISA] arrested and held in custody until 14 October before he was remanded to prison to await trial. The ISA allows the government to detain suspects for an indefinite period without trial or charge. The Malaysian government continues to use the ISA to detain suspected political opponents and dissidents.

10 October 1998: The Malaysian Bar Council at its Extra-ordinary General Meeting [EGM] adopted a resolution calling for the appointment of an independent Royal Commission of Inquiry over the complaint of the assault.

5 December 98: Mr. Tian Chua was freed on police bail from his second detention as the Attorney General Chambers [Malaysia] have yet to consider charges against him. Tian Chua is the Chairperson of the newly formed Gagasan Demokrasi Rakyat (Coalition for People’s Democracy) and a member of SUARAM. The Malaysian government is cracking downhard on dissidents – \"reformasi\" activist. There are 5 persons detained under the Internal Security Act imprisoned without charges or trial and many more are just lockup in prison. While the former deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim was initially detained under the Internal Security Act – Anwar is still imprisoned and facing charges in court.

The trial of Anwar Ibrahim has drawn attention to the independence of the legal system, police brutality and corruption.


We encourage you to continue writing faxes and letters to the Malaysian government. Request the following action to taken:

1. the immediate resignation of the Attorney-General for delaying and suppressing the report on Anwar’s beating.

2. The Government should release the investigation report on the beating of Anwar immediately.

3. Royal Commission of Inquiry to conduct investigations into Anwar Ibrahim’s \"black eye\" and other injuries while under police custody

4. those person or persons who inflicted Anwar’s injuries be identified, brought to court and duly charged.

5. Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir as the former Home Minister to apologise publicly for misleading the Malaysia people

6. take immediate action to stop excessive use of force by police and to discipline those responsible for abuse.


Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, Prime Minister’s Department, Jalan Dato Onn, 50502 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Fax: 60-3-2984172, 2383784

Datuk Mokhtar Abdullah, Attorney General’s Chambers, Jabatan Peguam Negara Malaysia, Tingkat 20, Bangunan Bank Negara Malaysia, Jalan Tangsi, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Fax: 60-3-2984172

CC COPIES TO: Mr. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of United Nations, D-519 Palais des Nations, Geneva 10, Switzerland. Fax: 41 – 22 – 917 0022 (Hotline – Human Rights)

Mary Robinson, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Palais des Nations, 8-14 avenue de la Paix, CH 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland. Telephone number: (41 22) 9173456; Fax number: (41 22) 9170213; E-mail:

Kapil Sibal, Chair, Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, c/o Centre for Human Rights, Palais des Nations, 8-14, avenue de la Paix, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland. fax to: (41-22) 917.01.23,email:,

and Diplomatic representatives of the Malaysia accredited to your country.

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID : UA990114
Countries : Malaysia,