NOVEMBER 7 ― Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) is shocked by the revelation in Parliament that 142 minors were detained without trial under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca) and 17 minors under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma). Suaram strongly condemns the existence and application of laws that permit detention without trial and demand for the immediate release of all minors detained under Sosma and Poca.
Reflecting on the gruesome allegations of torture and abuse suffered by detainees under Sosma and Poca; and the systematic use of solitary confinement for detainees under Sosma, Suaram is shocked that the Malaysian government consider it necessary for minors to be subjected to detention in these conditions under Sosma and Poca.
The government must provide an immediate answer to the public with regards to the condition of detention these minors are subjected to and provide clear answers as to why it was necessary for these minors to be detained under security provisions and not subjected to trial in the Court for Children outlined in Section 83(1) of the Child Act 2001
Suaram reminds the government that under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) which Malaysia is a party to, minors have the right to be trialed by a competent, independent and impartial authority or judicial body in a fair hearing [Article 40(2)(iii) of UNCRC]. This is not a mere international standard that the government can set aside on a whim as it is given force through the Child Act 2001 in Malaysia.
To this end, Suaram calls for:
1) All minors detained under Sosma and Poca to be released immediately;
2) Royal Commission of Inquiry to be established to investigate the unconscionable decision to allow minors to be detained without trial.
Any criminal motions against minors MUST be dealt with through the existing legal provisions outlined under the Child Act 2001 and in-line with UNCRC and not to the whims of the government and the Royal Malaysian Police. Suaram reiterates its stance that laws permitting detention without trial have no place in a democratic state and must be abolished immediately.
*This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.