Nearest stations: Old Street Station, Liverpool Street Station
The Solicitors’ International Human Rights Group and the Abolish ISA Movement UK take pleasure in inviting you to a conference in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Malaysia’s Internal Security Act (ISA). Originally enacted by the Malaysian government in 1960 the ISA allows for detention without trial and was intended as a temporary measure to fight a communist insurgency.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, bloggers, and ordinary civilians. Under the ISA a person can be detained for up to 60 days without warrant or trial and without access to legal counsel. A warrant can be renewed every 2 years at the pleasure of the Home Minister, thus, effectively allowing for detention without trial, indefinitely. Since its enactment it has been estimated that over 10,000 people have been detained under the ISA, 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.
This one day Conference will briefly look at the effect of the ISA over its 50 year history. The agenda for the day includes a host of inspirational speakers, accounts from families of ex detainees, poetry reading and songs. Issues which will be discussed include the history and modern day relevance of the ISA in Malaysia, the legal framework and viable alternatives, campaigning, and how the arts can effectively be utilised to highlight this issue.
Entry: £5 – light refreshments will be provided
The Internal Security Act - History and Relevance in current day Malaysia
This session will discuss the background and history of the Internal Security Act and whether or not it is still relevant today in Malaysia to deal with national security threats
50 years of the ISA- Syed Ibrahim (Head of Abolish ISA Movement Malaysia)
445 days under the ISA (Operasi Lalang) - Dr Kua Kia Soong(Skype link)
The ISA and Reformasi –Raja Petra Kamarudin (Skype link)
The ISA and Makhal Sakti (Hindraf) -P.Uthayakumar (Skype Link)
The Singapore ISA experience -Tan Wah Piow
The threat of administrative detention against human rights and environmental activists in Borneo- Peter John Jaban