KUALA LUMPUR: The Foreign Ministry (Wisma Putra) has stressed that there is no basis to find Anwar Ibrahim a political prisoner as alleged by certain quarters.
The ministry in a written reply at the Dewan Rakyat said the arrest of the former opposition chief fully met international human rights standards, apart from Anwar’s jailing through a fair trial.
“Based on international instruments, there is no definition adopted which is universally applicable for the term political prisoner.
“The Government of Malaysia had referred to several determining critiria as a guide and found the case of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim did not meet the criteria to define him as a political prisoner,” the ministry said.
The ministry was replying to a question by Datuk Kamarudin Jaafar (PKR-Tumpat) on the action of various international bodies including the United Nations which considered Anwar’s jailing as a political action and he should be released.
The Ministry said the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) which comprised five individuals appointed in their personal capacities did not represent the view of any UN member country nor UN itself.
The views of WGAD were not binding, the ministry said.
WGAD is a mechanism formed under the UN Humanitarian Rights Council which was given the mandate to issue opinions on detention of an individual based on individual complaints.
The ministry said the government had submitted a comprehensive reply on WGAD’s opinions to WGAD via the office of the Malaysian Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva on Nov 16, 2015 and had uploaded the press statement on the same matter on its website.
The ministry also explained that the allegation Anwar as a victim of political conspiracy had been studied comprehensively by the Federal Court.
However, the Federal Court had ruled that the defence’s political conspiracy theory only remained as a mere denial and the defence was not credible given that the allegations were unfounded to evidence that can be adopted, it added.