Lawyers renew call for special commission on police misconduct

Source: Free Malaysia Today 

EDICT spokesman M. Visvanathan — Picture by Choo Choy May

PETALING JAYA: Lawyers and rights activists have again called for a special commission to address police misconduct, in the wake of the confirmation that police were to blame for the death in custody of S Balamurugan last year.

They said that only an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) can address the issue.

Lawyer M Visvanathan said no suspects should die in lock-ups during an investigation, as they are innocent until proven guilty in court.

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Klang MP calls for inquiry into custodial death case

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Klang MP Charles Santiago has called for an official inquiry into alleged police negligence following the death of a detainee while en route to hospital for medical treatment yesterday.

Ganeshwaran Gunasigeren, 29, had been arrested for allegedly breaking into a factory in Bukit Tinggi.

Santiago said he was calling for the inquiry given the contradictory statements by the South Klang police chief and Ganeshwaran’s mother, in the interest of public accountability and good governance.

He said Ganeshwaran’s mother had disputed the police statement which claimed there were no signs of discomfort when Ganeshwaran was transported to Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, and that he was “looking healthy and talking normally”.  Read more

Suhakam: Police procedures for detainees’ medical care deficient

Source: FMT News

Chairman Razali Ismail says investigation on death of K Parthiban found that recommendations and proposals for health and safety of detainees have not been implemented or have been ignored. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: There has been little improvement in police procedures to deliver medical care for persons in police custody, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said today following its independent investigation on a detainee’s death in Melaka.

Its chairman Razali Ismail said the investigation on the demise of K Parthiban had led to “unresolved issues” being identified on medical attention in lockups, in relation to custodial deaths.

“Although there has been a plethora of previous reports, recommendations and proposals from Suhakam to assist the authorities to protect the health and safety of detainees with an aim to minimising incidences of deaths in police custody, we regret that many of these have not been implemented or have been ignored,” he said.

Parthiban, who was detained at the Melaka Tengah police station, died at the Malacca Hospital while receiving treatment on May 22. 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

Suaram blasts rearrest of teens in Balamurugan case

Source: FMT News

SUARAM executive director Sevan Doraisamy - Pic from FMT News

SUARAM executive director Sevan Doraisamy – Pic from FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) has slammed the rearrest of two teenagers in connection with the S Balamurugan case, calling the continued detention an attempt to silence potential witnesses to Balamurugan’s death.

In a statement today, Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy said the chain remand also painted the police as an institution that “permits violence in detention and protects those who murder detainees”.

The youths, Kanapathy Perathapan and Ang Kian Kok, both 16, were arrested together with Balamurugan on Feb 6. On Feb 8, Balamurugan was found dead at the North Klang district police headquarters.

According to his lawyers, at his remand hearing on Feb 7, Balamurugan was weak and unable to walk, had bruises on his face, was bleeding from his nose and mouth, and vomited blood. His lawyer also said Balamurugan had been assaulted by the police. Read more

Family sends memo to cops over Bala’s death

Source: The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR: There was a little drama when the family of S. Bala Murugan showed up at Bukit Aman with several Opposition politicians.

The group showed up at around 11.20am yesterday to hand over a memorandum to the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to seek justice for Bala who died in police custody last week.

However, they were unhappy that only an inspector was there to meet them. While Bala’s wife and daughter stood silent, Klang MP Charles Santiago, Subang MP R. Sivarasa, Batu MP Tian Chua and former Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam demanded to see a senior officer. Read more

EAIC: Revised police lock-up rules ignored

Source: The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: Police lock-up rules were revised in 2014 to prevent custodial deaths but the rank and file are oblivious to them, says EAIC chairman Datuk Yaacob Md Sam.

EAIC is the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission which monitors misconduct allegations against enforcement agencies.

The commission’s inspections following the two custodial deaths this year found those manning lock-ups were still relying on old procedures, said Yaacob.

The inspections were done at the Bera (Pahang) and Klang (North) district police headquarters.

 When asked which of the rules policemen were unaware of, he said “all”. Read more

Inquest a must when death takes place in lock-up, says lawyer

Pic from FMT News

Pic from FMT News

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: An inquiry must be held before a coroner as the death of S Bala Murugan took place when he was under police custody, a lawyer said.

M Visvanathan said Section 334 of the Criminal Procedure Code was clear that an inquest must be held whenever a person dies while under police custody, in a mental home or in prison.

“It is expressly provided in law and pursuant to a court practice directive that a senior Sessions Court judge must lead the inquiry,” he said.

Visvanathan said this in response to reports that police would only conduct investigations into the death of Bala but were silent about asking the court to hold an inquest.

“The police could not merely investigate the death in a lock-up and ignore the need for an inquest,” he said, adding that the officer-in-charge at the police station where the person had died must report the case to the nearest court.

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Family seeks justice over custodial death

Source: Malay Mail Online

A grieving Natthanan and Yanika console each other outside the South Klang police headquarters yesterday. ― Malay Mail pic

A grieving Natthanan and Yanika console each other outside the South Klang police headquarters yesterday. ― Malay Mail pic

KLANG, Feb 10 — The family of S. Balamurugan is claiming police brutality after he was found dead at the North Klang police headquarters on Tuesday.

They also questioned why the 44-year-old man, who was self-employed in the tyre recycling business, was not released immediately after the Klang magistrate’s court refused to grant police a remand order.

S. Balraj, 33, said he was shocked to see the bruises and wounds on his brother’s body after a post-mortem at Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah.

He said he was only allowed to have a glimpse of his brother’s face before the post-mortem and to see Balamurugan’s body after the procedure.

“There were bruises all over his body. He had a bloodied nose and wounds on his shoulder that looked like he was scalded with water,” Balraj said.

“He also had a large bruise on his chest. I want to know how the bruise got there.”

Balraj said his brother was recovering from fever when he was arrested along with two others for alleged robbery on Monday. He also said his brother suffered from a heart condition, but was on medication.

“Why was he not released immediately?” he asked. Read more