By Clara Chooi
KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 — A group of prisoners still held under the now-repealed Internal Security Act (ISA) are threatening to go on a hunger strike if Putrajaya does not release them within a week or charge them in court.
Two detainees — Mustawan Ahbad and Anthony Sackarayas Natkunam, both foreigners — even said today they were prepared to die from the strike and will refuse to eat until the Malaysian government accedes to their demands.
“I am prepared to die to fight for my freedom,” the Indonesian youth Mustawan said, according to lawyer Fadiah Nadwa Fikri today.
Fadiah, along with several other representatives from Lawyers for Liberty (LFL), had met with nine ISA detainees this morning at the detention camp in Kamunting, Perak.
Of the nine, seven are Malaysians. Mustawan and a Sri Lankan named Anthony made up the remainder.
“We wanted to know their present condition in detention after their previous hunger strike and Suhakam’s visit.
“They are now giving the government another week to respond to their demands. If the government fails to release them or charge them in court, they will resume the strike on June 4,” she told The Malaysian Insider after this morning’s visit.
Fadiah added that there are presently 45 ISA detainees in the camp, including 25 locals and 20 foreigners.
Among them are 11 Sabahans who were arrested just two months after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced his government’s plan to repeal the ISA, which was enacted in 1960 to fight the communist insurgency.
The ISA was repealed during the April Parliament sitting when a new security law, the Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill 2012 was tabled and approved by the lower House as its substitute. The Bill, however, is yet to be gazetted.
But according to Section 32 of the Bill, the ISA repeal would not affect those still detained under the Act, unless the home minister decides to revoke the orders.
MORE TO COME