Anwar goes to Court on being deprived ‘physical contact’

anwarKUALA LUMPUR: Jailed Opposition Chief Anwar Ibrahim challenged, on Wednesday, the Prisons Department and the government’s decision to deprive him of physical contact with family members.

Anwar, his wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, four daughters and four grandchildren are seeking to quash the order made by the director of Sungai Buloh Prison on March 14 in rejecting him having physical contact with family members.

They also want an order compelling the prison director to allow Anwar physical contact with family members throughout his imprisonment.

Their lawyer, Latheefa Koya, said the judicial review was filed at the High Court registry at 11am, with Anwar and his family naming the director of Sungai Buloh Prison, the commissioner-general of prison and Home Minister as respondents.

“He sent a letter to the Sungai Buloh director on March 2 to ask for human contact during family visits. It was rejected in a letter on March 14,” she said.

In Anwar’s affidavit, he complained that during visits by his family, he was separated from them by a glass panel. “This (glass panel) stops me from having physical contact with my family,” he said. “We can only speak through a phone.”

Anwar described the denial of human contact as cruel. “This caused suffering and pain for me and my family,” he complained. The experience traumatized him, he added.

Anwar disclosed that his grandsons, Sulaimaan Mohamad Khairul and Yahya Mohamad Khairul, refused to come close to the prison phone or wave or greet him through the glass partition.

“I believe that such denial of physical contact with my family is unreasonable, unlawful and in breach of the Prison Act 1995, Prisons Regulations 2000 and my fundamental liberties,” he said.