The bell tolls for thee — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Daily

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)

A TOTALof 1,654 people died in custody from 2010 until February this year, the home minister told Parliament. Statistically, about 19 deaths every month. This is astounding. One would have thought lock-ups would be just about the safest place to be – what with round-the-clock security by trained officers and support staff.

The minister’s deputy pinned the cause to the poor health of the prisoners; and their failure, often, to reveal their true health conditions. But lock-up rules provide for a person to be medically checked and certified before being locked up. And surely, follow-up medical treatment for sick prisoners is an elementary and mandatory procedure.

Significantly, inquiries by several bodies paint a different picture. Read more

Custodial deaths: New procedures to categorise offenders

Source: FMT News

Detainees will need to fill up a form stating their injuries or illnesses and will be kept away from those with contagious diseases. Pic form FMT News.

Detainees will need to fill up a form stating their injuries or illnesses and will be kept away from those with contagious diseases. Pic form FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Police have reviewed their standard operating procedures (SOP) to tackle the growing problem of custodial deaths, said Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

In a written Dewan Rakyat reply, dated March 20, Zahid said the new SOP contained the requirement to isolate detainees with contagious illnesses and to ensure detainees fill up and verify a form stating their injuries or illnesses.

Also, as much as possible, detainees should be isolated according to the category of offences they’re accused of, Zahid said.

They could be isolated as remand detainees, convicted detainees, drunk detainees, habitual offenders, detainees held under preventive laws, or women and child detainees, said Zahid.

“Visits by Suhakam (Human Rights Commission of Malaysia) are organised to ensure the detentions are in line with international guidelines.” Read more

Malaysia: Can police be trusted to investigate their own failures? — Zan Azlee

Source: Asian Correspondence

Policemen stand outside North Korea's embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on March 7, 2017. Pic from Reuters

Policemen stand outside North Korea’s embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on March 7, 2017. Pic from Reuters

“I received a call from the police saying my husband was in a very serious condition. The next thing I know, he is dead,” said a sobbing S. Perimilah, the wife of the late M. Thanaseelan who died under police custody.

Thanaseelan’s passing is one of the 1,654 custodial deaths since 2010 until February 2017, according to Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who revealed the statistics in Parliament recently.

“I want to know if he died because of what happened to him when he was in police custody or after he had been sent to the hospital,” she said before having to be consoled off the stage by her daughter because she couldn’t control her emotions any longer.

Perimilah was one of the panelists at a public forum entitled Let’s Talk About Our Police at a suburb in the outskirts Kuala Lumpur over the weekend. The forum also saw in attendance lawyer R. Sivaraj from the  and the Sevan Doraisamy from human rights group Suaram. Read more

Custodial deaths: This time, heads must roll!

Source: Astro Awani

In Malaysia, the number of deaths in police custody is significantly high and has become a matter of public concern and scrutiny. Photo for illustration purpose

In Malaysia, the number of deaths in police custody is significantly high and has become a matter of public concern and scrutiny. Photo for illustration purpose

KUALA LUMPUR: On March 20, another custodial death has allegedly taken place in Tapah prison in Perak.

R. Siva, 30 was supposed to have been released on March 20 but when a family member went to the prison to bring him home, he learnt the unbelievable: the detainee had died and his body taken to the Tapah Hospital, awaiting post-mortem.

As news of his death in police lock up resurfaced, one can expect the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) to dutifully announce that the agency would investigate the matter.

It is only the first-quarter of the year and already four custodial deaths have been reported, to date.

The EAIC had reportedly confirmed several weeks ago that it has formed a task force aimed at investigating the deaths of two inmates — Soh Kai Chiok at the Bera district police headquarters in Pahang on Jan 18 and S. Balamurugan at the Klang Utara district police headquarters in Selangor — on Feb 8.

This was followed by the investigation of M.Thanaseelan at the Bukit Sentosa police station lock up in Hulu Selangor on Feb 25. Read more

Gobind: Home ministry failed to end custodial deaths

Source: FMT News

DAP MP says inquests have not been able to resolve the problem as deaths in lockups have continued to take place this year. Pic from FMT News.

DAP MP says inquests have not been able to resolve the problem as deaths in lockups have continued to take place this year. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo has taken the Home Ministry to task for failing to fulfil its promise to ensure that no new deaths in custody take place.

He said the ministry had assured that it would ensure such incidents do not recur, but they have been continuing this year.

“From the point of view of law every death in custody should have an inquest. But when inquests are held, they do not resolve the problem,” he said.

“There were assurances that close-circuit television cameras would be installed (in lockups), but the deaths still occur and inquests do not change anything,” he added when debating the Royal Address in the Dewan Rakyat today.

“The ministry has failed because it had promised that this issue will not happen again.”

Gobind added that people are unconvinced when the police conduct investigations on deaths allegedly perpetrated by their own officers.

He said to address this issue, the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) should be given the power to lay charges and prosecute. Read more

At AGM, lawyers to push for charging dishonest cops who cover up custodial deaths

Source: The Malay Mail Online

President of the Malaysian Bar Steven Thiru - Picture by MMO/Saw Siow Feng

President of the Malaysian Bar Steven Thiru – Picture by MMO/Saw Siow Feng

Also calling for an IPCMC to be set up is Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru, who in his proposed motion noted that questionable deaths in police custody, unlawful fatal police shooting and police brutality on detainees continue to occur.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — Police officers who dishonestly seek to hide their colleagues’ torture and murder of detainees should be prosecuted instead of being protected or disciplined internally, lawyers have proposed.

In a proposed motion for the Malaysian Bar’s 71st annual general meeting (AGM) to be held  tomorrow, the lawyers said prosecuting these alleged “bad” officers was necessary to both protect the police’s integrity and to serve as deterrent to other police officers, enforcement officers and prosecutors.

They noted that those involved in the country’s administration of justice — such as the police, enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges — are expected to have “honesty and integrity”.

“As such, when the police has been found to be wrongly and dishonestly tampering with evidence and records, and/or involved in actions of ‘cover-ups’, these actions cannot be tolerated.

“The failure of police officers to report wrongdoings and/or crimes of their fellow police officers also cannot be tolerated,” the March 10 motion proposed jointly by Malaysian Bar members Charles Hector Fernandez, Francis Pereira, Shanmugam Ramasamy.

“There is a need to weed out such ‘bad’ and/or dishonest police officers, and it is also important that such police officers not be ‘protected’, but be charged and tried in a court of law,” they added. Read more

Balu mahu siasatan bebas kematian suami dalam tahanan

 

Komen HAKAM: Setiap kematian dalam tahanan polis semestinya disiasat. Pihak Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia (Suhakam) dan Suruhanjaya Integriti Agensi Penguatkuasaan (EAIC) sedang menjalankan siasatan sedemikian.

Soalannya, adakah siasatan-siasatan begini mencukupi untuk meraih keadilan bagi pihak-pihak semati dan keluarga mereka? Sedangkan pegawai polis mungkin terbabit dalam kesalahan yang membawa kepada kematian-kematian ini, adakah wajar ataupun mencukupi kalau hanya pihak polis yang diberi kuasa rasmi untuk menyiasat dan menjatuhkan apa-apa kehukuman terhadap anggota mereka yang disabitkan bersalah mengabaikan ataupun melanggari SOP polis ke atas tahanan polis?

Memandangkan kejadian-kejadian kematian dalam tahanan polis masih seringkali berlaku, bukankah wajar pertimbangan yang lebih berat dan mendalam diberi kepada seruan berterusan untuk penubuhan Suruhanjaya Bebas Aduan dan Salahlaku Polis (“Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC)“)?

Sumber: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Balu Thanaseelan Muniandy, yang meninggal dunia dalam tahanan polis bulan lepas, mahu siasatan bebas ke atas kematian suaminya.

Piremilah Sinasamy membuat laporan polis di IPD Petaling Jaya hari ini, meminta Bukit Aman menyiasat kematian itu.

“Pegawai dari balai polis Bukit Sentosa tidak boleh melakukan siasatan ke atas kematiannya kerana mereka mungkin terbabit,” kata suri rumah itu.

Piremilah mendakwa keluarganya tidak diberitahu mengenai penahanan Thanaseelan sehinggalah selepas kematian. Thanaseelan ditemui mati di balai polis Bukit Sentosa, Hulu Selangor 25 Februari lalu. Read more

Bipartisan action needed on independent police commission

Source: FMT News

Issue of custodial deaths continues to take centrestage says lawyer who does not believe police should investigate their own staff when detainees die in lock-ups. Pic from FMT News.

Issue of custodial deaths continues to take centrestage says lawyer who does not believe police should investigate their own staff when detainees die in lock-ups. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: MPs from both sides of the political divide must persuade the government to set up an independent oversight body to check on custodial deaths, a lawyer said today.

M Visvanathan said the establishment of a body like the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) was vital to restore confidence in the police force.

“The police cannot investigate itself when detainees die in their custody,” he told FMT.

Visvanathan said this in response to a private member’s bill submitted by Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang to establish the IPCMC to check corruption, misconduct and abuses of power in the force.

The lawyer said MPs could use the Royal address during the current Dewan Rakyat session to impress upon the cabinet the urgency to set up an independent body, especially with the recent spate of deaths in police lock-ups. Read more

Man dies in police custody at Bukit Sentosa lock-up

Source: The Star Online

Police lock up - file pic taken from The Star

Police lock up – file pic taken from The Star

HULU SELANGOR: A man died while in police custody at the Bukit Sentosa lock-up here, just over two weeks after a similar death occurred at the North Klang police headquarters.

A sentry found Thanaseelan Muniandy, 43, unconscious in his cell at about 1.50am Saturday and alerted the officer manning the information counter at the Bukit Sentosa station.

Hulu Selangor OCPD Supt R. Supramaniam said the constable then informed the Bukit Sentosa chief of the situation and was instructed to contact Hospital Kuala Kubu Baru.

“An ambulance arrived and medical personnel pronounced him dead at the scene.

“He was sent to Hospital Sungai Buloh for a post-mortem scheduled to be held on Monday,” he added.

Supt Supramaniam said Thanaseelan was under court remand from Feb 22 until Feb 25 for burglary. Read more