Islamic Human Rights Commission
03 February 2010
Update Alert: Malaysia – ISA prisoner Mat Sah Satray released under harsh control orders
Malaysian authorities released Mat Sah Satray from Kamuntang prison in September 2009. He has been placed under harsh control orders that have been restricting his movements and activities to such an extent that he is unable to carry out daily errands or even visit the grave of his mother.
According to the Malay Mali newspaper who interviewed Mat Sah Satray and his wife Norlaila Othman, the restrictions have affected their daily routine severely i.e.Satray cannot even visit the local supermarket behind their house. Under the conditions, Satray must report to the Ampang police station every Monday. He is not allowed anywhere out of the Ampang police’s area of jurisdiction, or leave his house after 10pm. He neither can make public speeches nor can he network with public figures. In addition to these restrictions Satray is also concerned about finding a job considering the stigma attached to being a former ISA detainee.
The Internal Security Act (ISA) merely on the basis of suspicion authorises detention for up to 60 days without a warrant, recourse to trial and access to legal counsel. The Home Secretary then decides whether the detention should be extended from 60 days to two years, which can be renewed indefinitely.
Malaysian authorities accused Satray of being a member of a “militant group”, Jemaah Islamiyyah (JI); however they provided no evidence to substantiate the charges against him. His case is representative of the plight of many other innocent Malaysians who have been detained under the ISA. Many have been physically abused during the course of their detention.
The Abolish ISA Movement, better known in Malaysia as Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI), is a coalition of many organizations. They have been tirelessly working towards the abolishment of the ISA and release of all ISA detainees on the premise that no one should be detained without a fair trial. GMI members have been actively campaigning for Satray’s release, distributing IHRC’s campaign packs at events and encouraging people to write letters to relevant authorities in protest against unfair detention. Further, they organise vigils and meetings with members of the opposition parties in Malaysia to build support against ISA. Unremitting pressure from campaigners has made a significant improvement in highlighting the plight of ISA detainees resulting in various international bodies taking steps to address this issue.
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“And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper.”
Holy Qur’an: Chapter 4, Verse 75
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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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