Suaram condemns ‘illegal detention’ of 2 Singaporeans

PETALING JAYA: The arrest and subsequent detention of two Singaporean women in Kluang, Johor, for the past five days has been condemned by human rights NGO, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), today.

Its executive director Sevan Doraisamy said the women, Quek Chin Fern and Cheryl Lim were arrested on June 19, 2017 for shoplifting.

"They subsequently pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a day of imprisonment under Section 380 of the Penal Code on June 22 (with sentence to commence from 12am,the same day).

"Despite being sentenced to one day's jail, they were not released at the designated time and were brought to Kluang Prison to "serve" their sentence," he said in a statement, today.

Sevan claimed family members who contacted the prison officials were informed that the two cannot be released as their passport were not with them at the prison.
"Additional queries directed to the prison officials were returned with information that the Immigration Department of Malaysia has issued orders for the two to be detained.

"Prison officials also claim that in these situations, the procedures outlines that prisoners are only to be transfered to immigration detention on Tuesdays and Thursdays," he added.

As such, he opined that there is no legitimate ground for these individuals to be subjected to additional detention by the Prison department and Immigration department.

"Their detention can only be described as an underhanded method utilised by the Prison Department to illegally detained individuals beyond the ambit of the law.

"The illegal detention of Quek and Cheryl for the past five days represents a direct violation of Article 5(1)1 of the Federal Constitution and a violation of Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."

In addition to their illegal detention, Sevan said Quek's family also informed them that she suffered a dislocated shoulder since the time of her arrest and has yet to be provided with any medical attention.

"The failure to provide adequate medical attention is a violation of Rule 273 of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules)," he said, calling on the authorities to release Quek and Cheryl immediately.