Malaysian opposition challenge Tamil lawyers' detention | india | Hindustan Times
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Malaysian opposition challenge Tamil lawyers' detention

Malaysia's opposition party says it would challenge the detention of two of its lawyer-members under the stringent ISA.

india Updated: Dec 14, 2007 13:16 IST

Malaysia's opposition party, the Democratic Action Party (DAP), has said it would challenge the detention of two of its lawyer-members under the stringent International Security Act (ISA).

A writ of habeas corpus seeking the release of lawyers M Manoharan and V Ganabatirau, who are also members of Hindraf will be filed soon, said DAP national chairman Karpal Singh.

Apart from M Manoharan and V Ganabatirau others who were detained Thursday on sedition charges included P.Uthayakumar, R. Kenghadharan, T. Vasanthakumar.

"We will file the papers because the detention involves our members," Karpal Singh told reporters at the Malaysian parliament lobby, the Star newspaper reported on Friday.

Karpal Singh said the use of ISA under such circumstances could not be justified.

"They should be given an opportunity to face trial in open court if there is evidence," he added.

Another opposition leader Lim Kit Siang said, "If they have committed an offence, bring them to court to stand trial. If it is sedition, charge them in court."

However, minister in the Malaysian Prime Minister's office, Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz, said the five were detained "as public sentiments continued to be affected."

"I believe the police have all the information to use the ISA for fear that the internal security of the country is compromised," he said, adding that there were also SMSes spreading allegations against the government.

Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) president S. Samy Vellu, who is a minister in the Malaysian government, said the government had taken the right action to put the five Hindraf leaders under ISA detention.

"Peace needs to be maintained in the country. If you keep creating discord, then the government has no choice but to invoke the ISA," he told newsmen in Johor Baru.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat, vice-president R Sivarasa, said unrealistic demands or loose or exaggerated language by Hindraf leaders could not be equated to threats to national security.

"The practice of locking up a citizen for two years using vague and unproven allegations of being a threat to national security has no place in any civilised society," he said.