Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Five ISA detainees released, only nine remain

PUTRAJAYA: The Government has released five Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees, all allegedly from the Jemaah Islamiah militant group.
With this, there are now only nine ISA detainees remaining, of which four are Malaysians. The rest are from Thailand, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Singapore.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the five were released conditionally after they were found to be no longer a threat to the country.
Of the five, Mat Shah Mohd Satray and Abdullah Daud had been in detention since 2002, while Mohd Nasir Ismail, Mohd Kamil Hanafiah and Mohd Amir Hanafiah had been detained since 2007.
Hishammuddin said they would be able to spend Hari Raya with their loved ones as their release came into effect immediately.
“All five detainees have shown positive response during the entirere habilitation period and have shown remorse for their actions in the past and is no longer a threat to the country,” he said.
Of the nine still in detention, Hishammuddin said six were allegedly involved in militant activities while the remaining three were detained for forging documents.
Terror suspect Mas Selamat Kastari, who was arrested in Johor Baru earlier this year, is the most infamous name among the nine.
In April, the Government released 13 ISA detainees, and another 13 in May. Among those released were five leaders of the outlawed Hindu Rights Action Force movement.
Hishammuddin was speaking to reporters after meeting representatives of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, or Suhakam, and the Bar Council over the review of the ISA.
He said the groups were concerned over the possible abuse of the ISA and hoped in the interim that the Government would alleviate the people’s concern.
“The balance between national security and national interest and civil liberty is not easily achieved,” he said. The Star

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