UPDATE: MALAYSIA: Request for Solidarity Messages


Urgent Appeal Case: UP-42-2001
ISSUES: Legislation,

Dear Friends, 

We are requesting you to send solidarity messages to the six ISA detainees who are boycotting prison food in protest of the harsh treatment they are facing. The messages will be read out to the prisoners at a protest rally which is being organised in Malaysia at Kamintang Detention Centre on 27th October. A sample solidarity letter is included here, as well as a sample protest letter to the Minister for Home Affairs of Malaysia. First we provide an update on the situation of the detainees and details of the rally being organised. The detainees need to know they have your support, so please write a simple solidarity message to them. 

Thank you for your continued support for the ISA detainees. 

Urgent Appeals Desk 

On 27 October* 2001, the Abolish ISA Movement in Malaysia will organize a protest rally in front of the Kamunting Detention Centre in Malaysia to express solidarity with the political detainees presently held there under the Internal Security Act (ISA), and to call for the repeal of the ISA. The ISA allows for arrest and detention without trial on allegations of a “security threat? 

*[This date as chosen to mark the last big ISA crackdown in Malaysia 14 years ago. On 27 October 1987, “Operation Lallang? the biggest crackdown on the democracy movement in Malaysia since decades, was launched by the Malaysian government. More than 100 political and NGO activists were subsequently arrested and detained for various lengths of time under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA).] 

[Source: Suaram and AIM-Malaysia] 

ISA Detainees Waging Boycott Prison Food Campaign In Detention Center! 

Six political detainees, namely Saari Sungib, Mohamad Ezam Mohd Nor, Tian Chua, Hishamuddin Rais, Lokman Noor Adam and Dr. Badrulamin Bahron, arrested under the ISA in April 2001, have launched a boycott prison food campaign starting from 11 September 2001 against the prison authority of the Kamunting Detention Centre. They are being held on a two year detention-without-trial order by the Malaysian government under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA). 

The boycott campaign is launched by these six detainees to protest strongly against all form of ill-treatment and violations of the fundamental rights of the detainees. These violations include: 
– semi-solitary confinement (two in a block which designated for twenty detainees) 
– poor prison food 
– breach of detainees’ right to consult lawyers in private 
– denial of access to television, radio and proper newspapers 
– withholding of letters and postcards addressed to detainees 
– infringement of the detainees?privacy by checking their personal letters 
– restriction of their reading materials 

The detainees have requested to meet the Commandant of the Camp, Mr. Mohd Zawawi Abdul Rahim, but to no avail. The detainees also wrote to the Minister of Home Affairs, via the Camp Commandant, seeking an explanation of the segregation policy by the prison authority. The letter dated 16th of September 2001 is still unanswered. 

The political detainees have vowed to continue or step up the boycott campaign until the prison authority and the Home Minister respond to their request to improve the treatment of the detainees in the detention centre. 


Meanwhile, the health condition of the detainees is deteriorating. The families of the detainees reported that they looked pale and suffered noticeable weight-loss. Mohd Ezam is having a high uric acid count and would need a special diet. Tian Chua is suffering from severe asthma. Lokman is suffering form high blood pressure. Saari and Hishamuddin were down with severe migraine and had not seen a doctor. The families estimated that they lost between 2-9 kg within a week 

We fear for the detainees health and well-being if the treatment of these detainees in the detention centre is not improved and continues to deteriorate. 


The detainees need your solidarity support in time for the 27 October rally! 

1. Please send a solidarity statement / message to the political detainees in Malaysia to be read out during the anti-ISA protest rally at Kamunting Detention Center on 27 October. 
Fax or email your message to Abolish ISA Movement (Malaysia), c/- Suaram: 
Fax: 603-77843526; Email: wkpeng@pc.jaring.my 

2. Fax a protest letter: 
To the Home Minister, Datuk Abdullah Ahmad Badawi – Fax: 603-88868014 
and/or to the Malaysian Consulate in your own country. 

3. Fax a letter to the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, SUHAKAM, Tan Sri Musa Hitam – Fax: 603-26125620 
urging them to visit the detainees waging the ‘boycott prison food’ campaign. 


To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Following are 2 sample letters: one of Solidarity and one of Protest. 
You can send your own letters, based on these examples, or you can copy, sign and send them to the respective persons. 

PLEASE…. At least send a Solidarity message to the detainees, who really need to be supported and encouraged to keep up their spirits! 

Sample Solidarity message to the Detainees in Kamunting Detention Centre 
Fax or email your message to: 
Abolish ISA Movement (Malaysia) Fax: 603-77843526 ; Email: wkpeng@pc.jaring.my 


To : 
Saari Sungib, 
Mohamad Ezam Mohd Nor, 
Tian Chua, 
Hishamuddin Rais, 
Lokman Noor Adam 
Badrulamin Bahron 

Kamunting Detention Centre, 
Taiping, Malaysia. 

Dear Friends, 

Today I join with your comrades in solidarity, to greet you in the Kamunting Detention Centre. I would like to commend you for your courage to stand up for your rights, and your strength in continuing to protest the injustice of your detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA). 

I, and many others with me, am very concerned that you will not suffer additional physical and mental discomfort or ill-treatment while in detention. Such indefinite detention without trial is in itself inhumane and unjust, and cannot be justified under any circumstances, as it violates, at the least, very basic democratic rights including the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and the right to due process of law. 

I pledge my solidarity with the movement of people who are working to obtain your release and the release of all ISA detainees. 

I also support the call of many Malaysians for the repeal of the Internal Security Act in Malaysia. 

I wish you enduring courage and strength, 
(Name / Organisation) 

Sample protest letter to Home Minister of Malaysia 

Datuk Abdullah Ahmad Badawi 
Home Minister 
Aras 13, Block D1, Parcel D, 
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan, 
652020 Putrajaya 
Selangor, Malaysia 
Fax: 603-88868014 

Dear Sir, 

Re: Protest Against Inhumane Treatment of ISA detainees and demand Release of Political Detainees 

I am extremely concerned about the health and well being of the six political detainees who are now waging a ‘boycott prison food’ campaign in the Kamunting Detention Center. 

I am writing to urge the authorities to immediately meet with the detainees, stop the semi-solitary confinement of these detainees and all other forms of inhumane treatment of the detainees. 

I urge you to guarantee that those recently detained under the ISA will not be subjected to physical or psychological torture or other ill-treatment while they are in custody; 

I call for them to be allowed immediate, private and regular access to lawyers, their families and independent medical attention. 

I urge the authorities to charge them with a recognizably criminal offence and bring them before a court of law, or else release them immediately. 

I would like to express concern that the ISA violates fundamental human rights, as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human rights, including the right not to be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (Article 5); the right to not be subject to arbitrary arrest or detention (Article 9); the right to a fair and public trial (Article 10); and the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law (Article 11). In the case of these and numerous other previous ISA prisoners, there is also no doubt that the ISA is also being used to deny the freedom of opinion and expression (Article 19) and freedom of peaceful assembly and association (Article 20). 

Therefore I urge you to repeal the ISA. 

Yours Sincerely 

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Update
Document ID : UP-42-2001
Countries : Malaysia,
Issues : Legislation,