Suhakam confirms Maria Chin kept in solitary confinement

23 Nov 2016 / 17:17 H.

PETALING JAYA: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) confirmed that Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah is being held in solitary confinement and given a wooden bed without a pillow.
This is following Suhakam representatives having met Maria at an undisclosed location where the latter is being detained for 28 days under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma).
"The state of cleanliness in the cell can be considered as acceptable but there is no escaping from the fact that it is solitary confinement. The so-called bed has no mattress and she has to wash with cold water," it said in a statement.
It said that Maria had indicated that she would like a mattress at the very least to cushion the discomfort of the wooden bed.
It also said that Maria is in good health and had been interrogated "softly" by the police for three hours during her detention.
"She requested for a copy of the Quran, reading materials and for her to see her children and family," it added.
Police detained Maria on Nov 18 under Section 124C of the Penal Code that criminalises the attempt to commit activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy, and invoked the Sosma for the arrest.
The controversial law which aims at maintaining public order and security allows the detention of individuals without trial for up to 28 days.
Meanwhile, the Centre For A Better Tomorrow (Cenbet) wants Maria to be released immediately.
Cenbet said when Sosma was introduced in 2012 to replace the Internal Security Act (ISA), the government had given assurance that the law would only be used against terror suspects.
It added Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar needs to explain to the public on how and why Maria is a threat to national security in the same way terror suspects are.
"The explanation has to be specific and in clear tangible terms, in line with transparency and good governance which Cenbet promotes," it said in a statement.

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