Bersih leader Maria Chin Abdullah appears to be in good health and detained in a clean cell, said the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) chairman Razali Ismail.
Suhakam noted that the state of cleanliness in Maria’s cell can be considered as acceptable but there is no escaping from the fact that it is a solitary confinement.
After visiting Maria who is detained in an unknown location, Razali said during the visit by Suhakam team which lasted for 1.5 hours, Maria was also assured that there was a medical doctor available at all times.
Suhakam was taken by the police to an unequipped gymnasium, and then inspected Maria’s cell and conducted an unimpeded interview with her.
Maria Chin is currently held under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) which provides for detention without trial for a prolonged period of up to 28 days, without judicial oversight.
Suhakam also praised the police for allowing the human rights commission to meet Maria although it was requested on short- notice.
“The so-called bed has no mattress and she has to wash with cold water. She indicated that she would like a mattress at the very least to cushion the discomfort of the wooden bed.
“Maria has also requested for a copy of the Quran and reading materials, as well as to be able to see her children and family.
“Suhakam has forwarded her requests to the police,” said Razali.
It was also indicated to Suhakam that the police had interrogated her for 3 hours, what she termed as soft interrogations; certain that there will be more interrogations.
The police were polite and did not prevent a free flow of discussion with Maria even though they were present at all times.
Suhakam is grateful to the police for their cooperation and assistance; the police representatives present were not in a position to consider any requests but would relay it to the higher ups.
The commission also pointed out that Maria was unjustifiably detained under Sosma in the company of people who are alleged terrorists, whereby the Standard Operating Procedure applied to an alleged terrorist was similarly applied to her.
The commission continues to hold the position that her detention is unjustifiably incarcerated and would like to reiterate that in accordance with Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.