Let ‘terror suspects’ face fair trial, says group

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PETALING JAYA: A lobby group has called for “terrorism suspects” to face a fair trial and for the release of all those being detained without trial under various detention orders.

This included the 15 people arrested last week for investigations into the grenade bombing of a nightspot in Puchong, in which eight people were injured.

The organisation, Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET) , said detention without trial was against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

MADPET spokesman Charles Hector said a foreign newspaper report had said that more than 160 people suspected of having ties to the Islamic State network had been detained in Malaysia in the past two years.

Hector urged the government to give details on the number of people being detained without trial, and those subjected to police restriction orders.

He said a fair trial was the best way of separating the guilty from the innocent and protecting against injustice, and also prevented abuse of power by officials, and a lackadaisical attitude in law enforcement authorities.

“The failure to charge and prosecute in open court also raises the concern that there really is no sufficient evidence, if any, to prove the person guilty,” he said.

All “suspects” arrested so far should be accorded all their rights, among them the right to a lawyer, and the right to a fair trial, Hector said, and the government should repeal all laws that provided for detention without trial, including the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015.