Class bias and deaths in custody — P Ramasamy

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Free Malaysia Today

Many custodial deaths involve detainees from the lower socio-economic segment of society, says Penang DCM.

By P Ramasamy

There seems to be no political will on the part of the government to address the issue of custodial deaths – deaths that occur even before remand prisoners are brought to trial in court.

Whether there is link between the lack of political will and the social class of those who have died in custody remains to be seen.

However, a cursory examination will reveal that deaths in custody involve those who are in the working class, especially those who are poor and who lack power and family support.

Talk of ensuring justice for remand prisoners and others is empty.

Custodial deaths are not confined to police lock-ups but also take place among remand prisoners in prisons.

Lately, statistics indicate that custodial deaths in prisons have risen.  Read more

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

Malaysians step up to end deaths behind bars

Source: The Malay Mail Online

EDICT spokesman M. Visvanathan says it’s not true that only guilty people die in custody. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 ― Lawyers and activists have banded together to form EDICT, Malaysia’s first-ever group that is solely focused on stopping abuse and deaths in custody.

EDICT spokesman M. Visvanathan said there is currently no specific NGO set up to seek a holistic solution to deaths in custody.

“It’s a very big problem actually. I think nobody should die in custody, we are a country that prides itself in building KLCC, MRT.

“We have developed so far, we have grown as a nation and we have accomplished many things but why is it that we cannot keep people alive in prisons, in detention camps, or in lockups? Why do they die? If they can walk in, surely they can walk out, why do they need to come out on a stretcher dead?” he told Malay Mail in a recent interview. Read more