For Immediate Release
20 January 2017
Death in Custody: Suspend IO pending Investigation!
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) is gravely concerned with the report of the untimely demise of Soh Kai Chiok at IPD Bera on 18th January 2017.
Reflecting on the decision on P. Chandran delivered earlier this year, it is noted that the police have responsibility for the health and welfare of detainees. In this instance, the Royal Malaysian Police needs to make clear the condition of the detainee prior to his death; reveal whether the detainee was in good health upon his arrest; and whether he was given the necessary medical attention if he was in poor condition during arrest or detention.
SUARAM highlights the impact death in custody have upon the integrity of the Royal Malaysian Police and the importance of having a transparent and accountable investigation to safeguard public’s trust in the police force. Any element of foul play or negligence must be identified and if any member of the Royal Malaysian Police was found to have contributed or were responsible for causing the death of Soh Kai Chiok, swift action must be taken against them to preserve the integrity of the police force.
To this end, police officers including the investigating officer responsible for the detainee and the officer in charge of the station must be suspended pending the investigation against them. Necessary disciplinary action and criminal charges must be taken against those that are responsible! One death in custody is too much and threaten to undo the perceived improvement shown by the Royal Malaysian Police in 2016.
SUARAM also welcomes the initiative shown by the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) and strongly recommend that the Royal Malaysian Police gives full cooperation to EAIC.