Clear my name too, says Munawar Anees

03 Jun 2018 / 14:37 H.

PETALING JAYA: Dr Munawar Anees (pix), who had served six months in prison in 1998 over a sodomy charge, has appealed to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to clear his name.
The former speechwriter of Pakatan Harapan (PH) defacto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he had committed no crime and was a mere pawn in a power game.
In an open letter to Mahathir, he said: "You and Anwar Ibrahim seem to have turned a page. That is commendable. But where is the justice me and my family deserve?"
It has been 20 years since Malaysian police threw me in jail on trumped-up charges merely because I was associated with Anwar, he said.
"I had committed no crime, yet the police came to my home and took me away," he said. "When my children came back from school that day, their father was gone. Their mother was left alone to explain to them what had happened."
He accused the police of trying to wrongfully implicate him in crimes with Anwar.
"At first, I refuted the allegations and strongly resisted any suggestion to implicate me in any offences. That is when the torture started," he said.
Munawar said he was subjected to beatings and being doused in freezing water, and was deprived me of sleep and food.
"The torture had such a serious effect on me that I suffered a heart problem and had to be taken to the hospital. It was there that, for the first time, I was allowed to see my family," he said.
"After weeks in torturous custody, I relented. I told my torturers – your police officers – what they wanted to hear. None of it was true. All of it was said to make the torture stop. When I was presented before court I repeated what I had said to the police, fearful that to say otherwise would mean being tortured again.
"Grim details of my torturous detention under the Internal Security Act may be found in my statutory declaration of Nov 7, 1998."
Munawar appealed his conviction, but it was upheld. "The abuse these thugs meted out on me had long-lasting repercussions," he said.
"My family and I were forced to flee the home we had made in Malaysia, fearful of the reprisals against us, our spirit shattered. We were destitute. I was unable to rebuild my life because of the psychological scars and the unjust criminal conviction hanging over me."

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