Towards a Malaysian Ratification of the Convention against Torture



We Welcome the Government’sCommitment to Universal Ratification

Geneva - Selangor, 25 September 2018: The World OrganisationAgainst Torture (OMCT) and Suaram welcomethe commitment of the Government of Malaysia and the Minister of ForeignAffairs Dato Saifuddin Abdullah to ratify the United Nations Convention againstTorture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT).OMCT and Suaram stand ready to provide any support needed in this process.

We applaud the human rights reforms within the GovernmentCoalition Pakatan Harapan manifesto, which includes the ratification of the sixremaining UN core human rights treaties,[1]the strengthening of the National Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM),and the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). These areimportant signals that the Malaysian government is sending out in anincreasingly human rights-aversive climate.

We also acknowledge the advocacy efforts by theACT4CAT coalition which comprises SUHAKAM, the Malaysian Bar, AmnestyInternational Malaysia, Lawyers for Liberty, and SUARAM with regards toMalaysia’s ratification of UNCAT. The ACT4CAT coalition has coordinated highlevel meetings with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Religious Authoritiesfor the Federal Territories, with representatives of the Committee againstTorture and delegates from Indonesia who are involved in the implementation ofUNCAT.

In view of the abovementioned developments, we encouragethe Ministry of Foreign Affairs to proceed with the ratification of the UNCAT andto engage with the Committee against Torture. In addition, issuing a standingopen invitation to all Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council would bea welcome step.

We also encourage the Government of Malaysia tostart giving due consideration to the provisions of UNCAT to prepare a Malaysianratification. In particular, incidences of public corporal punishment and othercruel, degrading or inhuman treatment or punishment ought to be suspended andcriminalized. The perpetrators should be held to account and the victims entitledto reparation.

The long-standing issue of torture in policecustody and inhuman treatment in prisons and immigration detention centersshould also be prioritized as critical areas. Recommendations by SUHAKAM andthe Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) on these matters should beadopted to ensure that Malaysia’s ratification and implementation of UNCAT is notshadowed by past abuses.

We reiterate our support to the Malaysiangovernment in their work against torture, to systematically investigate allallegations of torture and other forms of ill-treatment, to prosecute andpunish the perpetrators and to provide redress to the victims.

OMCT and SUARAM appreciate the scale of reform the Government of Malaysia is undertaking and are ready to provideour full support for Malaysia’s ratification of UNCAT and other internationalhuman rights treaties.

For further information:


Sevan Doraisamy

Executive Director,SUARAM


Ylva L. Hartmann

Human Rights Adviser, OMCT

+41 22 809 49 26

Stella Anastasia

Human Rights Officer and Network Coordinator,OMCT

+41 22 809 49 28

[1]The Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatmentand Punishment, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, theInternational Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, theInternational Convention Against All Forms of Racial Discrimination, theInternational Convention on the Protection of Migrant Workers and Members oftheir Families and the International Convention for the Protection of AllPersons from Enforced Disappearance.

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