Release all minors detained without trial immediately ― Suaram

Source: The Malay Mail Online

NOVEMBER 7 ― Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) is shocked by the revelation in Parliament that 142 minors were detained without trial under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca) and 17 minors under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma). Suaram strongly condemns the existence and application of laws that permit detention without trial and demand for the immediate release of all minors detained under Sosma and Poca.

Reflecting on the gruesome allegations of torture and abuse suffered by detainees under Sosma and Poca; and the systematic use of solitary confinement for detainees under Sosma, Suaram is shocked that the Malaysian government consider it necessary for minors to be subjected to detention in these conditions under Sosma and Poca.

The government must provide an immediate answer to the public with regards to the condition of detention these minors are subjected to and provide clear answers as to why it was necessary for these minors to be detained under security provisions and not subjected to trial in the Court for Children outlined in Section 83(1) of the Child Act 2001. Read more

In Federal Court, Sarawak natives suffer yet another blow

Source: FMT News

PUTRAJAYA: The natives of Sarawak today suffered yet another setback in their fight to preserve their ancestral land.

A five-man Federal Court bench allowed the appeal by the Sarawak government and the Land Custody and Development Authority (LCDA) in a case involving a piece of disputed land.

Justice Suriyadi Halim Omar said the apex court was setting aside the decisions of the 2011 High Court and the 2014 Court of Appeal rulings as the development order, the principal deed and the joint-venture agreement were found to be valid.

A group of 12 natives had gone to court after the Sarawak Government entered into an agreement with three firms to develop some native customary right (NCR) land, including the disputed 600ha.

Suriyadi, who delivered the judgment on the eve of his retirement, said a 600 ha “red area” in D75 was NCR land owned by some of the 12 respondents. Read more

Bersih 2.0 claims more soldiers shifted as voters to unbuilt camps

Source: The Malay Mail Online

PETALING JAYA, Nov 7 ― More military personnel and their spouses have been transferred as voters to yet-to-be-built camps in several locations in peninsular Malaysia, Bersih 2.0 claimed today.

The elections watchdog said its investigations found the Election Commission (EC) had made voter transfers to locations in at least two states other than one it had previously highlighted in Segamat, Johor ― including to one in the constituency of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

According to Bersih 2.0, up to 2,700 persons to the Bera Camp in Pahang and Hutan Melintang Camp in Perak, both of which are still under construction.

The group alleged that the transfers were politically motivated, pointing to the EC’s set-up of new localities to register voters from the camps.

“The EC had actually set up localities for these new camps,” the group’s co-chairman, Maria Chin Abdullah, told a press conference here. Read more

159 children among Sosma and Poca detainees, says home minister

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 ― A total of 159 children were among those detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), and the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca), Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.

In a reply to DAP’s Klang MP Charles Santiago, Zahid said that under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 (Pota) however, no children were detained.

“Seventeen children have been caught since the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, was gazetted and enforced. As for the Prevention of Crime Act 1959, 142 children were caught, whereas no children were detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act,” Zahid who is also deputy prime minister said. Read more

Court ruling sends message it’s cheaper to kill suspects, warn lawyers

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: A Federal Court majority ruling which stops family members from filing a claim for exemplary damages is a licence for law enforcement officers to kill suspects under their custody, a retired judge and lawyers said.

Not only was the majority decision wrong, it sent a dangerous message to enforcement agencies, they said.

Retired Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram said the majority verdict was an advice to the government that it was cheaper to kill than to maim.

He said the position now was that if a suspect was assaulted in custody and beaten within an inch of his life, then the government was liable to pay exemplary damages to the victim.

“But if the victim dies as a result of the violence inflicted on him there is no need to pay exemplary damages because the Civil Law Act (CLA) 1956 says so,” he told FMT. Read more

No excuse for Poca threat, say human rights groups

Source: FMT News

Paulsen: LFL is against all forms of preventive detention. Pic from FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Several human rights groups have criticised Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s warning that enforcement authorities will not hesitate to use preventive laws to detain those suspected of involvement in money-laundering activities.

The Citizen Action Group On Enforced Disappearance (CAGED), Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) and Bersih 2.0 agreed that a lack of witnesses or insufficient evidence was no excuse to put suspects under detention without a fair trial.

This came after Zahid said the police, in particular, would not compromise when acting against those who allegedly participate in illegal activities such as misusing bank accounts to make illicit payments.

“If there are no witnesses brave enough to provide information, or if there is insufficient evidence to press criminal charges against the suspects, the police will not be lenient in using the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca),” he was quoted as saying. Read more