EXTERNAL AI Index: ASA 28/10/96
28 June 1996
Further information on UA 127/96 (ASA 28/08/96, 22 May 1996) - Legal Concern
/ Possible Prolonged Detention without trial / Possible Prisoners of Conscience
Sabri Abdul Rani
Fakhruddin Al-Rozi Abdullah
New names: Pahrol bin Mohd Juoi
Khatijah Aam (f)
Haji Mohd Salim Omar
Azura Mohd Yusof (f)
Tengku Noriah Binti Tengku Abdullah (f)
Dr Mandur bin Mohd Nur
Mohammad Abu Bakar
Sheikh Abdul Rahim
A further 14 former members of the banned Al Arqam Islamic sect have been detained
between 4 and 16 June, bringing to 18 the total number held without charge
or trial under the Internal Security Act (ISA). The group, including three
women, one of whom was arrested with her six-month-old baby, have all been
detained in connection with alleged attempts to revive the sect. Two of the
women are wives of Ashaari Muhammad, the former leader of the sect. Other
members of Ashaari Muhammad's family are also said to be included in the group.
Ashaari Muhammad himself is still living under a restricted residence order
after being detained under the ISA during the 1994 crackdown on the Al Arqam.
He recently stated publicly that he has no intention of reviving the sect.
A number of those who have been arrested were also held under the ISA in 1994
and were subsequently placed under restricted residence orders.
The Malaysian authorities have recently directed all state religious
authorities to monitor the activities of all former Al Arqam members in the
country. The authorities have also announced that about 500 former Al Arqam
leaders would be required to attend "rehabilitation courses" again despite
having already done so following the 1994 ban. According to press reports,
the second phase of this "rehabilitation programme" will "test the sincerity"
of the movement's members and try to convince them to return to the true akidah
Amnesty International remains concerned that the detainees are being held for
the peaceful expression of their religious beliefs. The organization calls
on the Malaysian Government either to charge them with a recognizable criminal
offence or to release them immediately and unconditionally.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express/
airmail letters in English, Bahasa Malaysia or in your own language: