NGOs urge govt to ratify UN’s convention against torture

Source: FMT News

NGOs lament that country still practises a punitive system as opposed to a rehabilitative one. Pic taken from FMT News

NGOs lament that country still practises a punitive system as opposed to a rehabilitative one. Pic taken from FMT News

Sep 24 — PETALING JAYA: Human rights NGOs are urging the government to ratify the United Nation’s convention against torture.

Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commissioner Jerald Joseph said that according to research his NGO conducted two years ago covering 15 years of torture in the country, 255 deaths in custody were recorded.

However according to official police records only two were due to police misconduct.

“Other reasons given were due to health reasons, brain damage, and suicide among others,” he said at a forum on the United Nation’s convention against torture at The School in Jaya One here today.

“Do you expect us to believe that 30 of these gangsters and hardened criminals committed suicide while in custody?”

According to Jerald, some of the reasons given as to why the government was still reluctant to ratify the convention was because the country still implemented whipping as a form of punishment and caning of students in schools. Read more

Freedoms and rights according to Islam

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Islam has upheld the principles of justice and human rights since Day One, according to Amanah Communications Director Khalid Samad.

He was responding to a statement by Sisters in Islam (SIS) co-founder Zainah Anwar who said that one of the challenges facing Muslims today was the search for ways to live their faith in a world where democracy, human rights and women’s rights constituted the dominant ethical paradigm.

Speaking to FMT, Khalid pointed out that the concept of Maqasid al-Shariah (Goals of the Shariah) had been around since the time of al-Ghazali, the eminent jurist, philosopher and mystic.

“Maqasid al-Shariah says that the purpose of the Shariah is, among other things, to protect human rights; to protect freedom of religion, free will and the ability to think; to protect freedom of expression and freedom of association and to protect property,” he said.

“All of these were written in the time of al-Ghazali. So we can conclude that human rights and liberalisation were already in the minds of the ulamas back then, but they never got to push these ideas forward as they were living in a monarchy.” Read more

Madpet shocked at execution on verge of abolition of mandatory death penalty — Charles Hector

Source: Malaysiakini

BY CHARLES HECTOR

stop_death_penalty__cecigianMalaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (Madpet) is shocked to hear that Malaysia has executed one Ahmad Najib Aris on Friday (Sept 23, 2016), at a time when Malaysia is in the process of abolishing the mandatory death penalty, and possibly the death penalty for some offences.

Ahmad Najib Aris was found guilty of murder (Section 302 Penal Code) of one Ong Lay Kian (also known as Canny Ong).

Mandatory death penalty denies judges discretion in sentencing

Section 302 of the Penal Code provides for the mandatory death penalty – which means that once the judge finds the accused guilty of murder, the judge has no choice but to sentence the convicted to the one and only available sentence – death by hanging.

We recall that attorney-general Apandi Ali, who is also the public prosecutor, said that “…mandatory death sentences were a ‘paradox’, as it robbed judges of their discretion to impose sentences on convicted criminals… If I had my way, I would introduce the option for the judge in cases where it involves capital punishment. Give the option to the judge either to hang him or send him to prison. Then we’re working towards a good administration of criminal justice.” (The Malaysian Insider, Nov 13, 2015).

The attorney-general also said the he would propose to the cabinet that the mandatory death penalty be abolished. Read more