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SUHAKAM calls for security laws to incorporate human rights

Graphic: Malaysian Houses of Parliament

SUHAKAM said it had consistently promoted the position that detention without trial goes against the core principles of human rights.

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) has called for a balance in laws aimed to protect sovereignty and those that uphold human rights principles following the detention without trial of 12 people with alleged links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

In a statement, SUHAKAM said it had maintained a consistent position on security laws relating to detention without trial: that detention without trial goes against the core principles of human rights.

"SUHAKAM acknowledges that Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) was created pursuant to the special powers under Article 149 of the Federal Constitution," the statement said.

"However, SUHAKAM is concerned by Section 4 of SOSMA in which arrest, detention and renewal of the detention period does not requirejudicial oversight."

SUHAKAM noted it was encouraged by recent announcements that certain provisions in SOSMA would be reviewed, particularly those pertaining to detention.

The national human rights institution also said it stood ready to provide advice and assistance to the government and lawmakers.

"SUHAKAM understands that an appropriate balance must be struck between the need to protect the nation from security threats and the maintenance of human rights," the statement said.

"Freedom from arbitrary detention, the right to a fair trial and the right to social and international order in which all rights can be fully realised are guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Federal Constitution."

Date: 17 October 2019

Source: Human Rights Commission of Malaysia

Image credits

  1. Malaysian Houses of Parliament - Wojtek Gurak, Flickr; http://bit.ly/2omYUVf