the announcement by Suhakam today that it would be continuing with its public
inquiry into Internal Security Act detentions on Monday, the six
Internal Security Act (ISA) reformasi activists, namely Mohamad Ezam Mohamad
Nor, Hishamuddin Rais, Chua Tian Chang, Saari Sungib, Badrulamin Bahron and
Lokman Noor Adam, should end their
boycott of the Harun Hashim Suhakam public inquiry and apply to have their
public say on the Internal Security Act (ISA).
six ISA reformasi activists had boycotted the Harun Hashim public inquiry
at the Taiping Prisons Club in June on two main grounds: the scope of the
inquiry and limitation to their appearance by two representatives instead of by
all the six.
Their grave reservations about the scope of the Harun Hashim public
inquiry were valid, and I had repeatedly asked Suhakam to clarify
whether the inquiry was the
beginning of a wide-ranging
Suhakam review of the ISA including whether it should be repealed
or whether it would be strictly
limited to inquiry into the detention conditions of the ISA detainees, including
their medical and visitation rights.
Harun had said during
the Suhakam public inquiry
in June that it was
being held to give the commission, the public and the world “a clear
picture of the Internal Security Act”, the Suhakam inquiry will be estopped
from preventing the Reformasi Six from giving
testimony, submissions and
proof that the ISA constitutes
violations of human rights.
misgivings about the Harun Hashim public inquiry when I attended the morning
session on the first day of its proceedings in Taiping on June 18.
the first two days of the public inquiry at the Taiping Prisons Club, although
Suhakam commissioners had publicly stated that the inquiry would be
limited to the detention conditions of the ISA detainees, the testimony
went well beyond parameters purely about the detention conditions.
the circumstances, the Reformasi Six should apply to appear before the Suhakam
public inquiry, headed by Tan Sri Harun
Hashim, Suhakam vice chairperson and assisted by commissioners Prof Hamdan Adnan
and Asiah Abu Samah, as it would be a most ridiculous Suhakam inquiry into the
ISA if none of the Reformasi Six ISA detainees appear before it – and give
personal testimony as to the ISA’s multiple gross violations of human rights.