Wednesday, December 29, 2010

More ex-detainees speak out : Political violence and the abuse of the ISA in Singapore

UPDATE : Ex-ISA detainee plans to sue Malaysian govt too
MHA ignores torture allegations; claims Fernandez was detained by Malaysia
Former ISA detainee Michael Fernandez rebuts MHA
LKY Distorts Singapore History, Academic Gets Fired

DAYS after initiating legal action against the Singapore Government for damages for alleged torture, ex-detainee Michael Fernandez now plans to sue the Malaysian authorities as well.

The writ will be filed with the Malaysian High Court by this week, and will name Malaysia's Attorney-General and the Malaysian government as the defendants, according to Mr Fernandez's lawyer, Mr M. Ravi.

Its claims will be similar to those in a writ filed against Singapore's Attorney-General on Thursday last week, namely that Mr Fernandez, 77, was subjected to 'severe physical and mental torture, humiliation and loss of income' during his detention from 1964 to 1973.

At the time of Mr Fernandez's arrest in September 1964, Singapore was part of Malaysia. Singapore left Malaysia in August 1965.

Mr Ravi said at a press conference yesterday that Malaysian law firm K. Selva Barathy and Associates would be filing the writ with the Malaysian High Court.

Mr Ravi added that complaints would also be lodged with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia and with the Malaysian representative to the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, prominent lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

As for the Singapore writ, a spokesman for the Attorney-General's Chambers confirmed yesterday that it has been served the writ. It now has eight days to indicate whether it will contest the suit.

Mr Fernandez was a leftist activist in the 1960s.

He was detained under the Internal Security Act on grounds that he was part of the Communist United Front, an appendage of the Communist Party of Malaya.

MHA rebuts claims of ex-ISA detainee

Ex-detainee Michael Fernandez sues Government
Former ISA detainee seeks damages against Singapore government
Michael Fernandez files writ against Government
Breaking news: Former ISA detainee plans to sue Singapore Government
Former ISA detainee wants to sue Govt for damages : Straits Times

There are three things you need to know about Singapore.

1. The only political violence that has happened in the last 45 years in Singapore are the ones inflicted on political prisoners behind the walls of the Internal Security Department.

Links :
Political detention in Singapore : Prisoner case histories
The ISA as a political tool
Life in Singapore's political prisons

Surviving long-term detention without trial
Detention of journalists and lawyers under the ISA
A detainee remembers

2. The Internal Security Act has been abused (to serve political ends) more often than it has been used appropriately (to safeguard national security).

23 years after Operation Spectrum : Ex-detainees recall mental and physical abuses

I'll forgive Lee Kuan Yew if he admits to his error and apologises to me : Lim Hock Siew

3. The people and the institution responsible for the political violence and the abuse of ISA are still in power today. Open discussions on such topics remained sensitive, and even outlawed, in Singapore.

Zahari's 17 Years - rated PG by censors, banned by Minister
Ex-detainee Vincent Cheng barred from speaking in history seminar
Here we go again - Govt bans another Martyn See's film
Operation Spectrum forum cancelled
Police retracts licence request after Minister queried
Zahari's 17 Years remains banned : MICA

Ex-political prisoner speaks out in Singapore (Banned in Singapore) from sotong on Vimeo.

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