Deputy MB: Kelantan to model Qatar’s hudud law, including amputation

Source: Malay Mail Online

Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah (left) stressed that Kelantan’s currently dormant hudud enactment can only be enforced after a private member’s Bill by Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang is passed in the Parliament. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 3 — The Kelantan government will study ways of adopting Qatar’s implementation of hudud, the Islamic penal law, said Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah.

According to Mohd Amar, the state will allocate RM1 million to research how best to implement hudud that includes amputation, whipping and stoning for some offences.

“Qatar is one of the best models to follow the process of hudud implementation,” he was quoted as saying in Sinar Harian.

Currently, the PAS vice president said the state lacked the expertise and knowledge to perform some of the procedures necessary for selected hudud punishments, such as the surgical removal of limbs.

Theft, for instance, is punishable by the amputation of a hand in some instances. There is no equivalent to this in the country’s criminal law. Read more

Country set to be part of convention against torture next year

Source: The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is expected to ratify the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) by the middle of next year.

UNCAT committee member Abdel Wahab Hani said there were positive indications that the Government would ratify the convention following engagement with representatives from several government ministries, religious officials and the civil society.

“A reasonable time frame for the ratification would be between six and 18 months as Malaysia is prepared to be part of the convention,” he told a media briefing at the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) office here yesterday. Read more

Caning students is ‘derogatory punishment’ under UN convention

Source: FMT News

Uncat committee willing to work with the government to do away with corporal punishment. Pic drawn from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Caning in schools falls under degrading treatment under the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (commonly known as Uncat).

Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commissioner Jerald Joseph said if Malaysia chooses to sign the Uncat treaty, it would be a positive step in accepting changes in corporal punishment.

Suhakam commissioner Lok Yim Pheng said the government had taken a step in the right direction by not allowing public caning in schools. Consent is still given to cane students in private. Read more

Legislative reforms for child protection must continue — Malaysian Bar

Source: The Malay Mail Online

whatyouthink-new-logoAPRIL 10 — The Malaysian Bar welcomes the passing of the Sexual Offences against Children Act 2017 (“Act”) by the Dewan Rakyat in the recently concluded Parliament session. This new law marks progress for child protection in Malaysia by bringing our laws closer in line with international standards, and towards fulfilling our obligations as a State Party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (“CRC”). We take this opportunity to recognise the efforts of the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of legal affairs, YB Dato’ Seri Azalina Othman Said, in bringing the Act to pass.

The Malaysian Bar, however, opposes the inclusion of the mandatory whipping provisions in the Act, which may include whipping a male who is more than 50 years of age. Whipping is a harsh and barbaric form of punishment, with long-term harmful psychological effects, and has failed as a retributory and deterrent punishment. International human rights norms condemn whipping and other forms of corporal punishment as cruel, inhumane or degrading, and call for their abolition. There is no justification for Malaysia to condone and administer such a merciless punishment. Read more

Why Malaysia should ratify the UN Convention Against Torture — Eric Paulsen

Source: FMT News

The Convention prohibits torture under any circumstances including during a state of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, pic form FMT News.

The Convention prohibits torture under any circumstances including during a state of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, pic form FMT News.

On 10 December 1984, the same day Anglican bishop Desmond Tutu was honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle against the apartheid regime in South Africa, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) was adopted by the UN General Assembly. Following ratification by 20 State Parties, CAT entered into force on 26 June 1987. Since then, an overwhelming majority of 161 State Parties have joined the Convention. As you might have guessed, Malaysia is not one of the State parties.

CAT is one of the first international treaties to globally address the issue of prevention of torture. The Convention prohibits torture – defined as the intentional infliction of severe mental or physical suffering for a specific purpose by a public official, who is directly or indirectly involved.

The objective of the Convention is to compel State Parties to emphatically prevent and criminalise acts of torture, and build instead a framework to cultivate respect for human rights. It compels State Parties to take ‘effective’ measures to prevent acts of torture in its territories and jurisdiction. It prohibits absolutely torture under any circumstances including during a state of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency. Further, ‘an order from a superior officer or a public authority’ cannot be used as a justification for torture. Read more

Custodial death: Suhakam says early checks show cops violated lockup rules

Source: The Malay Mail Online

HAKAM comment: Action is needed to monitor and stem such disregard of rights and violations which continue with impunity. Does the recent string of custodial deaths not warrant a revisit of the call to establish an IPCMC – Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission?

Suhakam chief Tan Sri Razali Ismail — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said a four-man team from the human rights commission had visited the site where a 44-year-old detainee had died under questionable circumstances in a North Klang police lockup. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — Officers at the North Klang police headquarters had shown a disregard for due process and lockup rules, a team from the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) found in its preliminary investigation into the custodial death of S. Bala Murugan.

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said today a four-man team led by Commissioner Datuk Mah Weng Kwai that had visited the site where the 44-year-old detainee had died last week under questionable circumstances.

“Suhakam notes that the deceased was detained in a place which is not a gazetted place of lock up, and an application for extension of remand to the Magistrate by the police was rejected.

“Suhakam’s preliminary observations indicate due process violations, and disregard for lock up rules,” he said in a statement.

He added that Bala remained in custody even after the magistrate ordered for his immediate release and as such died while under police care.

However, Razali noted that the police have denied any wrongdoing on their part and the post-mortem report is not yet available. Read more

NGOs urge govt to ratify UN’s convention against torture

Source: FMT News

NGOs lament that country still practises a punitive system as opposed to a rehabilitative one. Pic taken from FMT News

NGOs lament that country still practises a punitive system as opposed to a rehabilitative one. Pic taken from FMT News

Sep 24 — PETALING JAYA: Human rights NGOs are urging the government to ratify the United Nation’s convention against torture.

Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commissioner Jerald Joseph said that according to research his NGO conducted two years ago covering 15 years of torture in the country, 255 deaths in custody were recorded.

However according to official police records only two were due to police misconduct.

“Other reasons given were due to health reasons, brain damage, and suicide among others,” he said at a forum on the United Nation’s convention against torture at The School in Jaya One here today.

“Do you expect us to believe that 30 of these gangsters and hardened criminals committed suicide while in custody?”

According to Jerald, some of the reasons given as to why the government was still reluctant to ratify the convention was because the country still implemented whipping as a form of punishment and caning of students in schools. Read more

“The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, Amnesty International Malaysia, Bar Council Malaysia, Suara Rakyat Malaysia and Lawyers for Liberty together launch the Campaign on Malaysia’s Accession to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment”

Source: Suhakam

Joint Press Release

“The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, Amnesty International Malaysia, Bar Council Malaysia, Suara Rakyat Malaysia and Lawyers for Liberty together launch the Campaign on Malaysia’s Accession to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment”

KUALA LUMPUR (26 June 2015) – On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture celebrated annually on 26 June, we, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (the Commission), Amnesty International Malaysia (AI Malaysia), Bar Council Malaysia, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) and Lawyers For Liberty (LFL) together reiterate our strong commitment to the fight against torture, express our solidarity with all victims of torture and their families, and call on the Government to accede to the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment (CAT).

Decades have passed since the said Convention had entered into force, prescribing through international law a total prohibition of all forms of torture. Yet torture continues across the world, including in Malaysia, despite it being inconsistent with our values. By joining the other 158 United Nations Member States that are party to the CAT, Malaysia would be making a firm commitment towards eliminating torture. Read more