Do Not Allow Indefinite Detention Without Trial


Target: Najib Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia

Goal: Throw out bill allowing the detention of suspects without trial or legal representation.

A draconian bill allowing indefinite detention without access to a lawyer or a trial will soon be voted on by the Malaysian legislature. It would allow government organizations the ability to imprison anyone who is “reasonably suspected” of a terrorist act for at least two years, with detention extended indefinitely. The bill would create a “Prevention of Terrorism Board” made up of sultan-appointed representatives who would prosecute all terrorism-related cases outside the confines of a legally sanctioned court.

The law will also allow the Prevention of Terrorism Board to impose detention or restriction orders without judicial review. It can order travel bans, electronic surveillance, house arrest, and restriction of internet or communications access. These closely-monitored suspects could then be arrested if found consorting with other suspects or even being outside after dark without a good reason. This is in clear breach of international human rights declarations guaranteeing the right to freedom of association and privacy, and the right to a fair trial.

The draft contains many provisions from the Internal Security Act, a law struck down in 2012 as unconstitutional. Authorities used it to detain activists, journalists, and critics of the government under trumped-up charges. If left unchecked, this new law could not only be used to deny citizens a fair trial, but stop them from speaking to the outside world about the conditions of their imprisonment. Sign the petition below to demand that this dangerous and unconstitutional bill be thrown out immediately.


Dear Prime Minister Najib Razak,

A new bill up for review by the parliament of Malaysia seeks to allow government agencies to detain terrorism suspects indefinitely and without legal representation. The law would put the suspects in the custody of a Prevention of Terrorism Board, which would be given extrajudicial powers to enforce unconstitutional restrictions and surveillance on anyone accused of terrorist activity.

This type of law leaves many loopholes that could be exploited to arbitrarily detain journalists, critics of the government, and political activists. It allows a governmental organization complete control over the fate of anyone accused of terrorism, a particularly alarming fact considering that the committee is above legal oversight. We, the undersigned, demand that this bill is thrown out due to its egregious infringement on the right to a fair and impartial trial.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Jonathunder via Creative Commons

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178 Signatures

  • Yaedi Ignatow
  • Muhammad Kamal
  • Gertie Hunt
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