The detainees are on hunger strike as they want information from the Home Ministry on when they would be released.
KUALA LUMPUR: Seven more detainees held under the Internal Security Act (ISA) have joined in the hunger strike at Kamunting camp demanding their release.
The seven have joined Malaysians Mohd Fadzullah Abdul Razak and Razali Kasan who started their protest last Thursday, bringing the total to nine detainees on hunger strike to date.
One of the lawyers representing the detainees, Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, said: “The nine are four Malaysian detainees, four Sri Lankans, and one Indian.”
She said that some detainees have even refrained from drinking water.
This is the second time within weeks that the detainees have gone on hunger strike. In mid-May, seven detainees, mostly foreigners, staged a week-long hunger strike due to the lack of news over their release.
Fadzullah was the only Malaysian who participated in it.
Suhakam managed to convince the detainees to call off their strike, promising some form of news from the Home Ministry.
Although the ISA has been repealed and replaced with the Security Offences Act, there is still no update on the fate of those detained under the ISA.
Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has said that he will personally look through the individual cases, but to date there has been no news over the matter.
This has been a major source of frustration to the detainees, their families and anti-ISA pressure groups.
Fadiah Nadwa said that she was in contact with the family of the detainees and they have voiced their concern.
“The family wouldn’t want their loved ones harmed in any way while waiting on news about their release,
“This is Fadzullah’s sixth day on strike; his parents are very concerned about his health,” she said.
Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) also released a press statement, stating the anti-ISA group learnt that Razali and another Sri Lankan have been placed in solitary confinement.
It has been reported before that Fadzullah has been kept in solitary confinemen for about two months after the first hunger strike .
This was confirmed by Suhakam commissioner Muhammad Shaani Abdullah who said they will visit detainees by next week.
Speaking to FMT, he said: “Suhakam will now look into the background of the detainees to find out why are they still being detained.”
FMT understands that Suhakam will have a private doctor present for their next meeting with the detainees in Kamunting.
There are about 45 detainees still held under ISA in Kamunting.
Tarani Palani | 26th June 2012