People should not be afraid of the government. Governments should be afraid of the people.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Raja Petra's deteriorating health
Aliran is seriously concerned over the deteriorating health of Raja Petra. According to his wife, Marina Lee Abdullah, “he does not look good and healthy at all”.
The deteriorating health of Raja Petra is totally due to the callous treatment of him by the police, who have completely ignored the universal norms that a detainee is entitled to.
“He has been denied sleep and is being put through mental torture,” said his wife after visiting Raja Petra.
By her account, Raja Petra had been harassed psychologically in police custody. This stress under extreme custodial conditions has caused Raja Petra to lose weight and he is feeling weak. This is a cause for concern as he is suffering from a heart ailment.
“He spoke very softly and looked weak, pale and tremendously thin,” Marina told reporters. She attributed this to the fact that Raja Petra was suffering from a lack of sleep because the previous night, he was harassed hourly by officers who recorded statements from him.
Marina has every right to be worried over his health because “her husband suffers from heart artery blockages and is on medication”. At this point in time nobody can confirm if Raja Petra is taking his medication or whether he is being monitored by a doctor.
What he is being subjected to is absolutely unacceptable and uncalled for. What makes it worse is the fact that Raja Petra’s human rights are being violated with impunity by a country that sits as a member on the United Nations Human Rights Council that is tasked with protecting and preserving human rights. It makes a mockery of our position on this Council and renders it untenable.
Raja Petra has been arbitrarily arrested, subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and denied a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal in determining his guilt. He has not been recognised as a person before the law and has been denied his right to freedom of thought and conscience. All these are serious violations which must be thoroughly condemned. This cannot be condoned especially when the perpetrator is a member of the Human Rights Council.
Aliran calls upon the Malaysian government to stop its violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to release Raja Petra immediately and to live up to its obligations as a member of the United Nations.
Malaysians no longer believe that the Barisan Nasional has acted honourably, objectively and sincerely in the national interests of Malaysia in detaining Raja Petra, Teresa Kok, the Hindraf Five and all the others under the unjust ISA.
P Ramakrishnan President 18 September
The Malaysian government is guilty of violating Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states: “No one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
The Malaysian government is guilty of violating Article 6 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states: “Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.”
The Malaysian government is guilty of violating Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.”
The Malaysian government is guilty of violating Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states: “Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.”
The Malaysian government is guilty of violating Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”