Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Anti-ISA rally planned this Saturday - Malaysiakini

Athi Veeranggan | Jun 4, 08 6:31pm

The Repeal ISA Movement (GMI) will hold a candlelight vigil outside the Kamunting Detention Centre in Taiping, Perak, on Saturday night.

The vigil is to apply pressure on the government to repeal the draconian Act, which allows detention without trial.

GMI said the Kamunting protest against ISA is part of a nationwide campaign to release all ISA detainees.

Presently, Kamunting reportedly houses 70 detainees, some of them have been incarcerated for more than six years, with a number of them allegedly not given adequate medical care.

Among those held are five leaders of Hindu Rights Action Force, Hindraf.

GMI expects the gathering to pull in thousands of activists from across the country.

The ISA has been a bone of contention between human rights activists and the government for decades.

The act - almost 48 years old - was inherited from the British rulers and initially used to deal with communist insurgents.

State blessing

“Thousands of ISA detainees have not been charged in any court of law, therefore not allowed to defend themselves against the allegations made against them,” said GMI president Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh (right).

The Saturday protest has received the support of the Pakatan Rakyat state government in Perak.

Syed said GMI has invited Perak Menteri Besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin and all state executive councillors to join the peaceful rally.

The GMI president hoped that leaders of Pakatan state governments in Penang, Kedah and Selangor will also show up at the rally as proof of their commitment to repeal ISA.

“We chose a night rally to send a message to all freedom-loving Malaysian that ISA has been a dark chapter in our system of justice, that the people have awoken at night with a light of hope at the end of the tunnel, to free the ISA detainees,” said Syed Ibrahim.

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