Anwar ticks off cops for deporting 7 men despite concerns over torture

Anwar Ibrahim says checks revealed that police acted unilaterally in deporting the men without consulting the relevant ministers or Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

PETALING JAYA: PKR chief Anwar Ibrahim today accused the police of rushing into the deportation of seven foreigners accused of links to a terrorist group, saying there had been no consultation with Putrajaya before the decision was made to send them back to Egypt and Tunisia.

The Port Dickson MP said checks revealed that police acted unilaterally in deporting the men without consulting the relevant ministers or Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“Malaysia must act based on accurate information and not depend on claims by foreign intelligence. We must be wary of countries that do no follow due process of law,” Anwar said in a statement.

Police said on Sunday that they had arrested and deported the seven men, including two men each from Egypt and Tunisia accused of links to Ansar Al-Sharia Al-Tunisia, a North African-based organisation listed as a terrorist group by the United Nations.

The move drew protest from Amnesty International and other rights activists, who said the Egyptians could face torture and persecution.

Rights activists have alleged that hundreds of dissidents were tortured in the last five years, with Human Rights Watch saying there is a “documented pattern of systematic torture of detainees” including in secret detention centres and police stations.

The move to deport the foreigners contrasts with the authorities’ decision to drop immigration-related charges against 11 Uighur men who entered Malaysia after escaping jail in Thailand.

Malaysia then defied Beijing by sending the men to Turkey, amid fears that they could face torture in China.