(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): I have this morning sent an urgent fax to the
Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi asking
to be allowed to make an immediate visit at the Kamunting detention center of
the six ISA reformasi activists,
Mohamad Ezam Mohamad Nor, Hishamuddin Rais, Chua Tian Chang, Saari Sungib,
Badrulamin Bahron and Lokman Noor Adam, who are on the ninth day of their hunger
strike to demand that they be charged in court or be released under the Internal
Security Act and that Anwar Ibrahim should be allowed to go overseas to Munich,
Germany for his acute spinal operation .
most regrettable that the Cabinet, at its meeting yesterday, had not heeded my
call that it should not continue to be mute, blind and deaf to the
anniversary hunger strike by the six ISA reformasi activists and their
supporters and that they should place the
subject top of its agenda to, among other things, establish a
high-powered task force to resolve
the hunger strike which had again plunged the country’s draconian ISA and
atrocious human rights record into
the focus of international
The health and
condition of the six ISA reformasi activists on the ninth day of their hunger
strike must be a matter of concern
to all Malaysians, not least of which to the government-of-the-day.
In Turkey, more
than 50 people (prisoners as well as “sympathy” hunger strikers outside the
prisons) have died as a result of
the hunger strike launched by some 1,000 political prisoners
in October 2000 in protest against the new “F-type” prison conditions
creating regimes of isolation with increased
risks of torture or ill-treatment of prisoners.
Concerns about the use of isolation and allegations of torture and
ill-treatment in Turkish prisons have been extensively documented by Amnesty
International and other international human rights organizations.
As Deputy Prime
Minister and Home Minister, Abdullah should stand out above all other Cabinet
Ministers to demonstrate that he is responsive and sensitive to the widespread
concerns about the health and condition of the six ISA reformasi activists in
the second week of their hunger strike.