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Move Anwar to house arrest, says lawyers group

 | February 9, 2016

LFL calls for attention to Anwar's health, says prison term a huge stain on Malaysia's reputation.


PETALING JAYA: The human rights group Lawyers for Liberty has urged that jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim serve his term under house arrest instead and that he receive medical treatment not available in prison.

In a statement to mark the first anniversary of his conviction and jail term, Lawyers for Liberty director Eric Paulsen said Anwar’s imprisonment was a huge stain on Malaysia’s reputation.

“Ever since Anwar was sacked as Deputy Prime Minister in 1998, he has been continuously persecuted from holding political office and from fulfilling his elected role as a Member of Parliament and leader of the opposition,” Paulsen said.

Giving a reminder that Anwar had been declared a prisoner of conscience by international groups, Paulson said that the government may have violated international treaties against the use of “torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” by the way Anwar had been dealt with in prison.

Paulsen said: “We also note with extreme concern Anwar’s continuing health issues, in particular, the chronic rotator cuff injury on his right shoulder and his limited access to proper and specialised medical treatment.”

He called for Anwar to be released on house arrest so that he can spend the rest of his sentence “in a minimum security correctional facility” and for him to receive the medical treatment that is not available in prison.

He pointed out that in November 2015 the UN Human Rights Council’s working group on arbitrary detention had called for Anwar’s immediate release and declared that his detention was “arbitrary” and in contravention of international laws.



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