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Former political prisoner awarded more than 740,000 dollars

KUALA LUMPUR-- Malaysia's High court has awarded a former political prisoner 2.5 million ringgits (742,825 dollars) in compensation for being detained without trial under a draconian security law nine years ago, local media reported Friday.

Abdul Malek Hussin, the former executive secretary of Party Islam of Malaysia (PAS), was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) on September 25 1998 for 57 days after authorities suspected him of posing a threat to national security, The Star newspaper reported.

After his release, Abdul Malek filed suit against the government claiming that he was wrongfully detained.

On Thursday, in a rare ruling against the government, High Court Judge Datuk Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus called the detention unlawful. He called the government's behavior "inhumane, cruel and despicable."  

Mohd Hishamudin said that the authorities had no proof that Abdul Malek was a threat to national security and his interrogation was political in nature.

The government often uses the ISA, a security law drafted more than 50 years ago to stem a communist insurgency, to detain political activists for alleged involvement in activities that threatens national security.


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