Written by Hafiz Yatim for Malaysiakini

An application is expected to be filed soon to test the government’s detention of three youths under the Emergency Ordinance (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) 1969, for suspected motorcycle theft.

The Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights, along with Lawyers for Liberty, will proceed with preparing the application for judicial review.

This is in the absence of response to a letter dated May 26 to premier Najib Abdul Razak, seeking affirmation that the emergency proclamation of 1969 has elapsed.

Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights campaigner Edmund Bon said: “We are still hopeful that the prime minister will reply but in the event there is no reply, we will file the application soon.”

Similar confirmation was received from Lawyers for Liberty representative Fadiah Nadwa.

Bon said the police had failed to prove their case against the trio but chose to use the EO to detain them and keep them from their families.

“This is certainly not right. Malaysia has the longest running emergency to date and the authorities continue to use the EO indiscriminately against the youth,” he said.

The trio -Muhamad Arif Abu Samah, 20, and brothers Mohamed Ramadan Mohamed Ali, 22, and Mohamad Rafe, 20 – were allegedly involved in motorcycle thefts in the district of Gombak, Selangor.

Their EO orders were signed by Deputy Home Minister Abu Seman Yusop on May 16.

The EO provides for detention without trial, similar to the draconian Internal Security Act. It is been expanded to include alleged motorcycle theft, an offence that can just as effectively be punished under the Penal Code.

Deadline set

Lawyer K Shanmuga, representing the trio, had written letters dated May 13 and May 26 to Najib, to lift the emergency proclamation and free his clients.

He claimed that his clients had been detained for more than 60 days without trial; forced to sign blank documents; kicked and severely assaulted with metal pipes, wires and aluminum rods; and prevented from meeting their lawyers.

The families of Rafe and Ramadan were duped out of RM13,000 paid to someone claiming to be an inspector in order to secure their release, he said.

Shanmuga had urged Najib and the cabinet to advise the Agong to revoke the emergency proclamation.

In the May 26 letter, the lawyer gave Najib 10 days to do so, failing which a judicial review would be sought.

Based on the letter, the application would a mandamus order (to compel) the prime minister and cabinet to revoke the proclamation and use of the EO.

This article was originally posted by malaysiakini.com on 13 June 2011. Click to view original here.

Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR) is a non-profit based in Kuala Lumpur with the mission of promoting active democratic participation and human rights awareness.