Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dublin group wants Hindraf 5 released


A Dublin-based human right organisation today pressured the government to immediately release the five Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders from their Internal Security Act detention.


The movement, Front Line, believed that the five were being detained without any trial "solely on account of their legitimate human rights activities".

hindraf isa detainees 141207 updatedThe five - P Uthayakumar, M Manoharan, V Ganapathy Rao, T Vasanthakumar and R Kengatharan - were detained on Dec 13 over their involvement in Hindraf in raising issues affecting the Indian community.

They were immediately sent to the Kamunting detention centre in Taiping to undergo a two-year detention.

"We believe the five have been targeted as a result of their legitimate work in the defence of human rights, in particular their work defending the rights of the ethnic minority Indians in Malaysia," added the organisation.

Front Line raised these concerns in a letter written yesterday by its director Mary Lawlor to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Mizam Zainal Abidin.

Lawlor also said that the king should urge the government to accord immediate treatment to Uthayakumar who is a diabetic patient.

"His condition required that he take medication daily to control his blood sugar levels," she said.

Give Uthayakumar his treatment

Lawlor added that although Uthayakumar's family members were first allowed to supply his medication, this practice however ended since February this year with the prison authorities refusing to accept the medication.

"Furthermore the authorities did not provide Uthayakumar with any alternative medicine despite repeated formal requests," she said.

uthayakumar taiping hospital 190608 01"Front Line is concerned for the physical and psychological integrity of the five, in particular Uthayakumar," added Lawlor.

She urged the authorities to ensure that Uthayakumar was supplied with all required medication for his condition and medical attention as needed.

Front Line also wanted the government to guarantee that in all circumstance all human rights defenders in Malaysia would be allowed to carry their activities without fear of reprisals.