Torture in Detention

Torture by state agency or member of government constitute a violation of international human rights and a violation of international law.

Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) outlines the general principle that ‘No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’. This principle is echoed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and developed further in the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT).

The use of torture in detention in Malaysia is fairly common with a report by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) reporting that roughly 10% of detainees in police custody interviewed alleging that they witnessed, heard or were victim of torture or other form of violence by the police [Report Available].

Some of the torture methods documented by SUARAM includes allegations by detainees that they were beaten at the sole of their feet with rubber garden hose; sexually assaulted by investigating officers; forced to stand in uncomfortable position for prolonged duration; solitary confinement; death threats; and many others.

The result of these gruesome practice has resulted in the untimely demise of many individuals. In recent years, there are several cases where it is indisputable that the death was caused by the use of torture or other abuse. Notable case includes those of A. Kugan (civil suit judgment – Court of Appeal) and the case of N. Dharmendran (Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission Press Statement with Overall Findings).