Malaysia: Follow-up of case MYS 151210_Writ of habeas corpus to free M. K. Selvachandran was rendered academic_OMCT remains seriously concerned about his safety and detention
Case MYS 151210.1
Follow-up of case MYS 151210
Habeas corpus application rendered academic/ Arbitrary
detention/ Fear for the safety
International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) has received new information
and requests your URGENTintervention in the following situation in Malaysia.
International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by SUARAM, a member of OMCT
SOS-Torture Network, that the writ of habeas corpus to free M. K. Selvachandran, a witness who
testified against the police in the case of a death in police custody, was
rendered academic following his transfer to the Batu Gajah detention camp, on 14 December 2010.
According to the information received, on 20 December
2010,the High Court ruled that it
had no longer jurisdiction to hear the habeas corpus application filed, on 10
November 2010, on behalf of Mr. K. Selvachandran for his 60 days in detention after
he was transferred to Batu Gajah detention camp under a two-year detention
order issued by Malaysia’s Home Minister. Mr. K. Selvachandran’s lawyer has
reportedly decided to challenge the decision before the Appeal Court.
The International Secretariat of OMCT reiterates its
grave concerns about the safety of Mr. K. Selvachandran and recalls to the
authorities of Malaysia that they are legally bound to effectively
ensure the physical and psychological integrity of all persons deprived of
liberty in accordance with international human rights law.
OMCT further urges the competent authorities to
immediately release Mr. K. Selvachandran in the
absence of valid legal charges and judicial process consistent with
international legal standards, or if such charges
exist, bring him before an impartial and competent tribunal and guarantee his procedural
rights at all times. OMCT has on several occasions expressed gravest
concerns over existing emergency and anti-subversion laws in Malaysia which
provide for indefinite detention without trial in
clear violation of internationally recognised human rights standards relating
to fair trials, namely the Dangerous Drugs Act 1985 (DDA), the Emergency
Ordinance 1969 (EO) and the Internal Security Act (ISA).
In this regard, OMCT recalls that the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
has urged the Government of Malaysia, following his mission to the country, to
repeal or amend four preventive laws in force in the country that allow
detention without trial, in some cases indefinitely, including the DDA.
OMCT is all the more concerned about the detention of Mr. K. Selvachandran since
he seems to be detained solely for having testified against the police in the
R. Gunasegaran’s death in police custody (see
OMCT calls on the competent authorities of Malaysia to carry out a prompt, effective,
thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the beatings suffered by Mr.
K. Selvachandran during
his arrest, the result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible before a competent, independent and
impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as
provided by law.
had earlier been informed about the arbitrary detention of 39-year-old Mr. K.
to the information received, on 14 December 2010, Mr. K.
Selvachandran was transferred to Batu Gajah detention camp in the state of
Perak after Malaysia’s Home Minister issued a two-year detention order under
the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985 (DDA), which provides for detention without trial for up to two
Mr. K. Selvachandran was reportedly not allowed to see his family before his
transfer. His habeas corpus hearing was scheduled for 20 December 2010.
K. Selvachandran was reportedly arrested under unspecified charges under the
DDA, on 25 October 2010, by five
plain-clothes police officers, only a few hours after a court delivered an open
verdict at the inquest into R. Gunasegaran’s death in police custody, ruling that the cause of his death could not be
conclusively proven. Mr. K. Selvachandran had testified during the
inquest that he had seen a policeman kicking Mr. R. Gunasegaran before this
latter collapsed and died at Sentul police station, on 16 July 2009.
the arrest, Mr. K. Selvachandran was allegedly beaten by the police in front of
his wife and children before he was taken to the Kuala Lumpur police contingent
headquarters. He would suffer from hearing problems due to the beatings.
Please write to the
authorities in Malaysia urging them to:
Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and
psychological integrity of Mr. K. Selvachandran;
Grant Mr. K. Selvachandran unconditional access to a lawyer of his choice and
his family, as well as guarantee that he is promptly examined by independent
doctors and receives adequate and free medical care, in accordance, inter alia,
with the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners;
Order his immediate release in the absence of valid
legal charges that are consistent with international law and standards, or, if
such charges exist, bring him promptly before an impartial, independent and
competent tribunal and guarantee his procedural rights at all times;
Carry out a prompt, effective, thorough,
independent and impartial investigation into the reports of beatings, the
result of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible before
a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or
administrative sanctions as provided by law;
Ensure that an effective remedy, including the
right to full redress with compensation and rehabilitation be granted to the
Ensure the respect of human rights and fundamental
freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and
international human rights standards.
Ø Prime Minister of Malaysia
Mr. Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak,
Prime Minister’s Office Malaysia, Perdana
Putra Building, Federal Government Administrative Centre, 62502 PUTRAJAYA,
Selangor, Malaysia, Fax: + 60 3 8888 3444, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Malaysian Home Affairs Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, Ministry of Home Affairs,Blok D1 & D2, Kompleks D, Pusat Pentadbiran, Kerajaan Persekutuan, 62546 Putrajaya, Fax:
03-88891613/03-88891610, Email: email@example.com
Director, Batu Gajah Detention camp, Pusat Pemulihan Akhlak, Jalan Brewster, 31000 Batu Gajah, Perak, No. Fax : 05-3661519
Permanent Mission of Malaysia to the United Nations in Geneva,
ICC-1er/ H, Pré-Bois 20, P.O. 1834, CH-1215, Geneva 15, Switzerland, Email :
firstname.lastname@example.org, Fax: +4122 710 75 01
Please also write to the embassies of Malaysia in your respective country.
Geneva, 20 December 2010
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the
code of this appeal in your reply.
See for example OMCT joint press release on 1 August 2010, www.omct.org
See the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention press release on 18 June 2010, « Arbitrary Detention: Preventive Laws should be repealed or amended in Malaysia - UN
The Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive
Measures) Act 1985 (DDA) gives powers to the police to arrest and detain any
suspect who “has been or is associated
with any activity relating to or involving the trafficking in dangerous drugs
for up to sixty days without an order of detention. At the end of the 60-day
detention, the Home Minister is provided powers to hand a two-year detention
order, if he is satisfied that “it is
necessary in the interest of public order that such person be detained
Section 11A of the DDA provides powers to the Home Minister to extend a
detention order, for a period not exceeding two years, but the number of
extensions is not limited.