Wednesday, May 21, 2008


KUALA LUMPUR (May 20, 2008): The wife of an Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee lodged a police report today alleging that her husband, who was detained on suspicion of being a spy for the Thai police, is paralysed as a result of the torture and beating he suffered at the Kamunting detention centre.

Sharmila Uthiakumar, 24, of Tanjung Malim, who was accompanied by her brother-in-law and members of the Anti-ISA Movement (GMI), said she learnt from her husband, K. Sanjeev Kumar, that he has become wheelchair-bound because of the beating and torture which he underwent for almost 10 months at the centre.

She also claimed that he had been warned by Special Branch police personnel at the camp that if he confided in anyone about the assaults, they would arrest her and torture her in the same way.

Sharmila told reporters after lodging a report against the internal security minister, the police and the Kamunting detention centre at the Dang Wangi police headquarters today that Sanjeev, a motorcycle workshop owner, was arrested by police last July 28 at his workplace without reason.

She said he was taken to their house, which was searched for two hours, after which the police team seized a parang and firecrackers from her house and took Sanjeev away.

Sharmila said the police refused to tell them despite asking them repeatedly why Sanjeev was arrested but later that day the family received a letter from the police saying her husband was being held under the ISA.

She said she was allowed to meet her husband in Bukit Aman only two weeks after his detention. On Sept 22, he was sent to the Kamunting detention centre.

"They only told us that he was an agent spying for the Thai police. He has also been denied of medical attention despite being in critically ill health. This led to his paralysis. Please release him and if they have anything against him, then charge him in court." she said.

GMI chairman Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh said the police should stop using the ISA as it was cruel and unfair.

"Such cases are not new. This is a repeat and many have suffered the same horroful fate. We urge the government to release Sanjeev and charge him in court if at all he has committed an offence but to hold him like this is unjust and inhumane." he said.

He said he will raise the case with the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) and hope steps will be taken to put an end to such incidents.

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