Don't expand Sosma willy-nilly, talk to its victims first - Suaram
KUALA LUMPUR – The police and the Home Ministry were urged to sit-down and engage in a meaningful dialogue with former Sosma detainees and their family members before expanding the scope of usage of the controversial security law.
The need to do so was voiced by human rights group Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy, emphasising that the authorities were oblivious on the impact inflicted onto those arrested under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).
“Please listen to their stories. Listen to what they have gone through; the experiences they had to endure when they were detained under Sosma and the hardships faced by their family members and socio-economic damages they suffered,” said Sevan.
He was responding to yesterday’s remark by Deputy Inspector General of Police Datuk Seri Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, who mooted the expansion of Sosma to cover several offences including, smuggling of contraband cigarettes and alcohol.
Sosma was introduced as a response to national security concerns, granting police enhanced powers to combat security threats.
It has a 28-day detention without trial clause which has faced criticisms over accusations of misuse and human rights violations.
Speaking at the launching of a report that delved into the socioeconomic effects that Sosma had caused to those who were detained under it, Sevan implored for Ayob Khan to ditch the police’s “old ways” of doing things in silo.
“Understand why Sosma has been fiercely rejected and challenged. The use of Sosma allows detention without trial. Suspects are detained, tortured, and forced to confess.
“When the government itself promised to revise Sosma, it showed that this law is problematic and that is why they were looking into amending the act.
“The police are contradicting the government when they mooted the expansion of Sosma’s coverage. What should be done right now is for the authorites to impose a moratorium on the use of Sosma,” Sevan argued.