Abolish ISA candlelight vigils in 8 states

The Abolish ISA Movement (GMI) and rights group Suaram aim to hold simultaneous candlelight vigils against the abhorred law in eight states around the country on Sunday.

The protest will be held as an effort to pressure Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to repeal the Internal Security Act.

Aug 1 marks the 50th anniversary of the draconian act, which was introduced by first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman’s administration in 1960.

The candlelight vigils will be held at the following venues and times:

  • Dataran MBPJ, Padang Timur in Petaling Jaya at 8pm
  • Speaker’s Square, Penang (9pm)
  • Dataran Bandaraya Ipoh (8pm)
  • Dataran Zero KM, Sungai Petani (8pm)
  • Taman Hijau, Jalan Sultanah Zainab, Kota Bharu (8pm)
  • Pusat Tanah Wang, Jalan Perdada, Sibu (8pm)
  • Bangunan Al Idrus Commercial Centre, Kuching (8pm)
  • Front Entrance of 1 Borneo Hypermall, Kota Kinabalu (1pm)

On Monday, GMI chairperson Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh announced that the coalition of NGOs would distribute around 100,000 leaflets on the draconian law on the same day.

GMI also plans to erect billboards and put up banners on the ISA in Selangor, he added.

Syed Ibrahim called on the government to abolish all existing detention-without-trial laws such as the ISA, Emergency Ordinance 1969, Restricted Residence Act 1933 and Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 with immediate effect.

Suaram’s 2009 Human Rights Report – released on July 21 – said Najib’s first year in office marked further deterioration in the state of human rights in the nation.

In his maiden speech as prime minister, Najib had said his administration would not use the ISA arbitrarily and would give importance to the principles of human rights and civil liberties.

The government is planning to table amendments to the ISA in the areas of length of detention, rights and treatment of detainees and their families, the power of the home minister, the use of ISA for political reasons and detention without trial.