An invitation to attend a conference in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of Malaysia’s Internal Security Act

The Solicitors’ International Human Rights Group and the Abolish ISA Movement UK have the pleasure of inviting you to a conference in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Malaysia’s Internal Security Act. The conference will be held on Saturday 2nd April 2011 at Amnesty International, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London, 10am-5pm.

The Internal Security Act (ISA) was originally enacted in 1960 and intended as a temporary measure to fight a communist insurgency. However, over the last 50 years, the Malaysian Government stands accused of using the Act as a tool for political repression evidenced by the growing persecution of political opposition leaders, human rights activists, lawyers, journalists, and ordinary civilians.

Under the ISA a person can be detained for upto sixty days without warrant, trial or access to legal counsel. A warrant can then be renewed every 2 years at the pleasure of the Home Minister, thus, effectively allowing for indefinite detention without trial. Since its enactment it has been estimated that over 10,000 people have been detained; the vast majority of whom have never been charged in a court of law. The longest serving detainee spent 16 years in arbitrary detention.  

In June 2010, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention conducted a mission to Malaysia which concluded that, in conformity with article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ISA should be abolished or at least amended.

The Malaysian Government continues to argue that the ISA still has relevance in modern Malaysia because it is a shield against racial hostility in a multiethnic society and provides an answer to the multifaceted threats posed by international and regional terrorism. The conference explores the complexities of this debate. 

Please visit to register your interest if you wish to attend this event.