Raja Petra has been denied the basic human rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, namely the right to trial, the right to defend oneself in an open and independent court, the right to legal counsel and the right to be presumed innocent before proven guilty.
The Abolish ISA Movement (GMI) condemned the government’s decision to detain popular blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin for two years under the Internal Security Act as the court was about to hear his bid for freedom. “We believe the invoking of section 8 of the ISA for a two-year detention period subsequent to eight days of detention [from a maximum of 60 days under Section 73(1)] is to avert from the habeas corpus hearing of Raja Petra scheduled today,” said GMI chairperson Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh in a statement.
“This is an old tactic used in many cases before so that the habeas corpus will be deemed as academic since the detainee has been detained under a different section of the law.
“The police may also be apprehensive to habeas corpus because the decision to detain a person under Section 73(1) must be assessed and scrutinised objectively. This is based on a judgement made by the Federal Court on Sept 6, 2002 during habeas corpus appeal of five reformasi activists.”
A writ of habeas corpus orders the authorities to produce detainees before a judge to determine whether the government has the right to continue holding them.