|ISA detainee's family appeal for release (Updated)|
|Monday, 18 June 2012 02:07pm|
©The Sun Daily (Used by permission)
by Elly Fazaniza
PUTRAJAYA (June 15, 2012): Internal Security Act (ISA) Indonesian detainee Mustawan Ahbab's family members appeal to Malaysian government for his immediate release.
Mustawan's sister, Qoyyummah, 34 told the press today she came to the home affairs ministry to appeal for her brother's case.
"We have not met him nor been communicated with him for nearly two years now," she said.
Qoyyummah, her two younger sisters together with Mustawan's wife Hairuniza Mohd Akhir, 36, a Malaysian citizen together with a relative was accompanied by non-government organisations (NGO) Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) president Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh and Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) representative Ahmad Syukri.
Mustawan, who was arrested in October 2010, reportedly worked as a sales executive with a private company in Malaysia.
They were met by the ministry's representatives and held a half-hour meeting.
"We informed the ministry's officers that we want Mustawan to be released earlier. We are told that he's been detained because he is involved with terrorism activities in Malaysia. There has to be proof. This is not true!" Qoyyummah said after the meeting.
"Our mother has been grieving for two years now. In Indonesia, we do not have such laws (ISA). If the law has been changed, surely he can be free now?" She added.
Qoyyummah said for the past two years, she and her family have corresponded through Mustawan's wife, Hairuniza.
Hairuniza was seen crying and said,"The officers assured that he will be released on October 4 this year. I am not sure how true this is, but we will continue to seek help for Mustawan's release."
"We will be meeting him at Kamunting tomorrow with our four-year-old son," she added.
Since 2010, Hairuniza and their son have been meeting Mustawan once a month.
Meanwhile, GMI president Syed Ibrahim said during the discussions, the chief assistant secretary (security and public safety division), Aswan Jaya, explained that Mustawan will not be further detained after he has served his time and will be released in October this year.
"Aswan explained this is a security matter, and they were not at liberty to divulge any information regarding his arrest, other than to believe according to their own sources he was engaged with terrorist activities here," he said.
However, Syed Ibrahim said, it states that a detainee may be released earlier with the home ministry's consent clause 32 of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill.
"Yesterday, Mustawan's family met the Indonesian representatives to seek assistance," he said.
When asked on the Indonesian officials opinions here, he said they are not aware that their own citizen is still detained under ISA.
He said despite today's disappointing result, GMI will continue to assert pressure to release all ISA detainees as soon as possible.
He added GMI will hold a press conference on June 20 at Parliament with legal representatives from Lawyers for Liberty and Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism & Human Rights on the matter.
Earlier, Syed Ibrahim expressed his frustration that apart from Mustawan's case, there are still 20 Malaysians and 25 foreign detainees yet to be released.
He said that the government has made a smart move to repeal the former ISA, which reflects their stand that the Act is not needed, and strongly urge for an immediate release of the detainees.
"There is no substantial reason to detain them further," he said.
He added the detainees and their families have been emotionally strained under the former Act.
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