Saturday, September 23, 2006

Blackmailing families of ISA detainees?

In criticising the US for the detention of two Malaysian al-Qaeda suspects and calling for their open trial, AAB said that the Americans had broken its own laws. But Malaysians shot AAB down for practising double standards while ISA detainees are being detained here without trial.

I want to comment that – (1) AAB did so just to "show" his “concerns” but I would imagine he would rather the news of the two Malaysians weren’t revealed; (2) the Yanks used to condemn other countries for ISA-type detention without trial but just look at them today, numero uno in that department – they even have an additional draconian avenue of making people talk, namely extraordinary rendition.

The USA must never and can’t ever talk down to others again on due process, legal morality or human rights.

But there’s more to just detaining people without trial. The Malaysian Branch has even taken to a new form of pressure tactics, a form of blackmail.

Malaysiakini has reported that the authorities have been warning families of detainees not to participate in campaigns against the ISA Act, or getting involved in the lobby group, Abolish ISA Movement (AIM), on pain of their loved ones being detained longer.

Norlaila Othman, wife of one of the detainees, Mat Sah Mohd Satray, claimed she had been advised by a member of a recently-released ISA detainee’s family to stop being involved with AIM’s campaign:

“The family told me a police officer in Bukit Aman (federal police headquarters) had asked the ex-detainee to inform other detainees’ wives to refrain themselves from attending AIM activities should we want our husband released earlier.”

“We have faced police
harassment continuously and this has been directed against my family, such as monitoring our movement or calling us repeatedly. This is the first time that they tried to use other detainees’ families to pressure us.”

Norlaila said that her husband had also told her of the same thing during a visit last month to the Kamunting detention camp in Taiping, Perak.

Pressure tactic eh? Hmmm, maybe that may explain what the universiti-universiti malu had been rehearsing for, perhaps testing out the curriculum for a post-graduate diploma in 'peace persuasion'.

1 comment:

  1. This is nothing new. Not sure how accurate Wikipedia is but check it out here.

    To quote:
    "...death threats, threats of bodily harm to family members, including threats of rape and bodily harm to their children"