Maria shares her experience as a Sosma detainee
Maria Chin Abdullah says her detention was part of the authorities attempt to create a conspiracy theory revolving around Bersih 2.0 accepting money from George Soros.
KUALA LUMPUR: Maria Chin Abdullah today shared the experiences she faced while she was a detainee under Sosma.
At the Suaram Human Rights Report 2016 launch today, Maria related how her cell had no windows and that she was made to sleep on a wooden plank.
「There was no fresh air but they had an air-conditioner. However, that only made sleeping on the wooden plank even more painful for me,」 she said in her speech.
She added that eight different special branch officers took turns interrogating her from 9am to 6pm and she was made to walk to the interrogation room handcuffed and with dark sunglasses.
「I was also not allowed to wear undergarments, and this made me feel extremely vulnerable especially when all the interrogators were men,」 Maria said.
She added that though the interrogators were mostly professional, they did make some sharp and hurtful comments about family and friends.
Maria revealed that during her time at the detention centre she had no idea where she was and that she was not allowed to use her name as well.
「So your lawyers, your family, even you don』t know where you are and while I was there I was referred to only as 378. I』m not even allowed to answer to my name. I』m only 378,」 she said.
She said by the line of questioning she received, it seemed as though the police were trying to form a conspiracy theory about how Bersih 2.0 had received funding from a foundation linked to billionaire George Soros.
「From 2010 to 2011, we did take funding from Soros but we had declared it.
「In 2012, we filed a suit against The New Straits Times and the newspaper had to apologise to us for reporting that we had US$20 million. Now its RM3.2 billion from Soros and this time it (the accusations) won』t work either.」
Also present at the Suaram event today was activist Hishamuddin Rais, who also spoke about Soros』 funding.
「In 1967, I saw a James Bond movie and I wanted to become a spy,」 he said.
「I would have loved to work for the CIA and I』ve been leaving my bank account everywhere in the hope that Soros would give me money. I』ve been questioned by police and the worst part is I still haven』t gotten a single cent,」 Hishamuddin said to the amusement of all present.
Nur Jazlan: Maria treated just like other detainees
PETALING JAYA: Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah’s detention under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) was nothing out of the ordinary.
Police standard operating procedures (SOP) were applied, says Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed.
「She went through the police usual SOP and this shows that she wasn』t given special treatment,」 he told FMT.
Nur Jazlan was responding to Maria, who had recounted her 「horrifying」 experience during her detention under Sosma.
Maria had described how she was made to sleep on a wooden plank with no windows and endure interrogation sessions while not being allowed to wear any undergarments.
Nur Jazlan, who is Pulai MP, explained not only undergarments were not allowed, but also items such as belts, ties and any personal items that could pose as a safety hazard to the detainee.
「Belts and other personal items can be used to injure the inmate physically.
「You can strangle yourself with an undergarment as it can be made into a rope.
「That’s why the police do not allow these things. The police want to avoid any untoward incidents.」
Nur Jazlan said Maria was also not treated any differently from other detainees during interrogation.
「If she wants to talk about her experiences during detention, then let her talk about it. But she was treated according to police SOP and no differently from other inmates.」
Maria was arrested a day before Bersih 5 on Nov 18 under Sosma.
Police claimed they had obtained a document that led them to believe she could be involved in activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy in Malaysia, an offence under Section 124(c) of the Penal Code.