World Rainforest Movement

Sarawak: Amnesty International’s call for action

In the last issue of our Bulletin we informed about the events of December in Sarawak. Enyang ak Gendung who was shot by the police while protesting peacefully, died in hospital from his injuries on 24 December 1997, after five days in coma under intensive care. A postmortem performed three days later revealed a bullet lodged inside his head. Enyang ak Gendung was married with three children, aged between seven and 17 years.

Rolly ak Sylvester, who is a 13-year-old child, and Tingom ak Rangking were released from police custody on 23 December. The remaining detainees were released six days later. Even if no charges have been laid against any members of the group, all are due to appear at Miri Magistrate’s Court on 22 January 1998.

Indit ak Uma, who was shot in the stomach, chest and wrist, and Siba ak Sentu, who was shot in the abdomen, were also detained by the police until their release on 29 December. Indit is reported to have returned to the hospital for treatment to his stomach wound which became infected while he was in detention.

Up to 22 other Iban from neighbouring communities are also reported to have been detained briefly before 23 December 1997. They were also released without charge but ordered to appear at the Magistrate’s Court in Marudi on 22 January 1998. Amnesty International has called for action in support of the Iban.

Source: Ann Wolfe, Amnesty International, 6/1/1998.