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A lie has robbed their freedom

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A lie has robbed six Malaysians of their precious freedom. For three weeks they have been locked up and put away unfairly and unjustly.

Not a shred of evidence has been unearthed so far to justify their detention. Not an iota of proof has been disclosed to date to convince sceptical Malaysians that the action of the police has been honourable.

A lie that robs innocent Malaysians of their human rights discredits the police beyond repair. A lie that denies access to lawyers for the detained six denigrates the rule of law and disgraces the Barisan Nasional government for not observing the principles of decency, truth and honesty.

With this kind of unethical behavior , with this kind of human rights violations, does Malaysia deserve to occupy a seat in the United Nations Human Rights Council? This is a question that has to be asked by all justice-respecting Malaysians. This question has to be raised by the international community that voted in Malaysia for a place in the Human Rights Council. Please search your conscience and demand an answer.

With each passing day, the BN’s crime becomes unpardonable; with each passing day, it loses its credibility. No one believes that the government has done the right thing; no one believes that the government has done this in the interest of the nation. The common consensus among Malaysians is that the BN government has acted in a selfish manner to safeguard its self interest.

When it comes to the preservation of the BN’s hold on power, it throws caution to the winds, it sacrifices ethics and resorts to brute strength to hold on to power. Recently we witnessed how it conducted itself with regard to the Bersih “Walk for Democracy” rally, deploying the police to act harshly and cruelly. Even the sanctity of the grounds of a hospital was not spared or respected. The welfare of the hospital patients was callously ignored when the police went after the protesters seeking refuge in the hospital grounds.

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Back to Jeyakumar and his five companions. First they were charged with “waging war against the King”. This charge within seven days collapsed as sheer nonsense and evaporated into thin air – but they were deprived of seven days of freedom in isolation.

Then, they were released but in a show of mockery to the rule of law, they were immediately arrested and detained under the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969 and whisked off to Bukit Aman, where they are being kept in solitary confinement. The intense interrogation and the long hours of questioning have taken a toll on Jeyakumar. For a person with a heart ailment, it is dangerously causing him a lot of stress and torment. He has had to be hospitalised twice within the span of two weeks.

Third, in spite of the fact that he was first charged with treason and later with being a threat to the nation, he wasn’t investigated for this. What they were interested in was to find out about the Bersih rally and related information. This irrevocably confirms the lie that Kumar and his companions were traitors to the nation or a threat to the country.

There are no moral grounds whatsoever to justify their continued detention. The BN’s saving grace would be to release them unconditionally and immediately. Our plea is, don’t perpetuate the lie.

P Ramakrishnan
16 July 2011

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