Malaysia: ISA repeal significant step for human rights

In response to Prime Minister Najib Razak’s announcement today that the Malaysian government will seek to repeal the Internal Security Act (ISA), lift all emergency proclamations, and repeal or review other restrictive laws, Amnesty International said:

“Prime Minister Najib's repeal of the ISA is a significant step forward for human rights in Malaysia. The ISA is a notoriously repressive piece of legislation that has stifled peaceful dissent in the country for over 50 years," said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific Director.

“The thousands of people still detained under these preventive detention laws must be either charged with a recognisably criminal offence, or be released immediately.”

Prime Minister Najib also proposed two new laws to preserve peace and public order and combat terrorism.

“The Prime Minister must ensure that the Malaysian government removes other barriers to free speech and peaceful assembly in existing laws. And any new legislation must comply with international human rights standards.” added Sam Zarifi.