UPDATE (MALAYSIA): 120 hours into Hunger Strike for Freedom


Urgent Appeal Case: UP-22-2002
ISSUES: Legislation,

RE: UA25/2001: Abolish the Internal Security Act (ISA) Campaign)

UPDATE (MALAYSIA): 120 hours into Hunger Strike for Freedom


We are forwarding the following urgent press release from SUARAM, a human rights organisation in Malaysia. It concerns the HUNGER STRIKE FOR FREEDOM which six prisoners of conscience in Malaysia’s Kamunting Detention Camp began on Wednesday 10 April. Since Wednesday, one of the six, Badrulamin Bahron, who is suffering from high blood pressure, has been so weakened that he is bed-ridden, two others are suffering severe migraine attacks and the others are losing weight quickly and weakening. However, the Malaysian authorities have refused to bring Badrulamin to hospital, in spite of the doctor’s advice.

And today, 15 April, the other five have decided to refuse even water. They have decided on this drastic action to pressure the government to listen heed their conditions. It is feared that they will not last long without water.

Please send your protest letters to the Prime Minister and Home Minister of Malaysia to heed the demands of the detainees and to make sure that their state of health is not further affected.

Thank you for your continued support for the ISA detainees.
Urgent Appeals Desk

Asian Human Rights Commission


SUARAM Press Advisory: 15 APRIL 2002 (MONDAY)

120 hours into Hunger Strike for Freedom – ISA detainees’ families to lodge police report against Badawi

Family members of the ISA detainees currently conducting the “Hunger Strike for Freedom” campaign in Kamunting Detention Centre, will lodge a police report on Monday, 15th April in Kuala Lumpur over Minister of Home Affairs, Abdullah A. Badawi’s orders to the Kamunting Detention Centre to stop lawyers and doctors of the detainees from visiting them and for Dr. Badrul Amin, a critically ill ISA detainee from receiving immediate medical care in a hospital. The full report will be released to the press tomorrow. We hope you will send your journalist and photographer to this very important event.

Released by:

S. Arutchelvan

Secretary, Abolish ISA Movement (AIM)



15 April 2002

120 hours into Hunger Strike for Freedom – No water until Dr. Badrul gets to hospital

“We will not allow a drop of water to pass through our mouths from 4 p.m. on Monday if Dr. Badrul Amin is not sent to the Taiping Hospital,” said Tian Chua on behalf of the six detainees during the family visit on Sunday morning.

The detainees are not expected to survive more than three days if they refuse to take water. This was the message given to family members who braved intimidating and heavy police presence, including fully armed police officers, and intense harassment to meet the ISA detainees currently on hunger strike.

Roads leading to the Kamunting Detention Centre, where the political prisoners are kept were sealed off to vehicles, save those carrying family members. “The police took numerous pictures and detained us unnecessarily,” said Aliza Jaafar, wife of political prisoner Saari Sungib. Five families manage to meet the political prisoners, save the family of Dr. Badrul Amin. Dr. Badrul Amin left instructions that he would not see anyone unless his personal physician, Dr. Musa who travelled from Kuala Lumpur, was present.

Family members of the other five detainees said they had lost weight between 3 to 7 kg since the hunger strike and were evidently week. “However their spirits remain high,” said Bahirah, wife of Mohd Ezam Mohd Nor. She said the medical assistant continue to hide from view the medical records of the detainees.

Puan Bahirah added that two of her children’s names vanished mysteriously from the visitor’s list over night and had to fight to get her children to see their father. Hishamuddin Rais, according to his family, had to be supported when he walked to see them as his limbs were experiencing shakes.

And a message to commemorate the anniversary of Black-14, dictated by Tian Chua to his family was confiscated. The family member was singled out for a full body search, and camp authorities attempted to coerce her to persuade Tian Chua to give up the hunger strike.

Also police threatened a lawyer for the detainees, Cheah Kah Peng, with arrest when he refused to leave the camp gates until he saw his clients. Cheah was told he would be arrested for ‘illegal assembly’ even though he was alone and assembled around him were some 20 intelligence and uniformed police officers.

Meanwhile, despite a media blackout on the hunger strike and intense police harassment, supporters in Kuala Lumpur continued to rally for support. Opposition leaders, Fadzil Noor (president of PAS), Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (president of KeADILan) and Dr. Syed Husin Ali (president of PRM)surprised members of the public when they joined activists in leafleting the Central Market.

“Within 5 minutes the police officers snatched and confiscated our pamphlets… The police said that they were confiscating it under the Printing and Publishing Act” but when asked to be more specific, they were unable to answer. Our lawyers stood firm and finally got our pamphlets back,” said Dr. Xavier Jayakumar, a member of KeADILan’s supreme council. He added, “We continued distributing the pamphlets, though the police threatened to arrest us for illegal assembly. We replied that they would have to arrest all of us because we were all there together.”

Two solidarity hunger strikers collapsed on Sunday. N. Gopalakrishnan, 43, a former ISA detainee fell unconscious during a ‘Black-14’ commemoration programme at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall and was taken to the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital. Despite his condition, the police attempted to coerce a police statement from him. Muthana Saari Sungib, 19, collapsed outside the Central Market and remains at the Kampung Baru Medical Centre. Eight doctors from the Malaysian Society of Islamic Doctors visited the solidarity hunger strikers last night to conduct a thorough medical examination.

According to the doctors, six of the solidarity hunger strikers, Manimaran (34), Krishnansamy (42), K. Gopalakrishnan (43), Nora and Raja Petra Kamarudin (51) and Tuw Ah Mei (60) are suffering from loss of fluid, body starvation, dehydration and high blood pressure. They would require special medical attention.

1. Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad

Prime Minister’s Office

Federal Government Administration Center

62502 Putrajaya


Fax: +603 8888 3444

E-mail: ppm@smpke.jpm.my

2. Datuk Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

Home Minister

Aras 13, Block D1, Parcel D,

Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,

652020 Putrajaya

Selangor, Malaysia

Fax: +603 8886 8014

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Update
Document ID : UP-22-2002
Countries : Malaysia,
Issues : Legislation,