Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) is concerned with the death of Nik Muhammad Baihaqy Nik Mat and Muhammad Lailatuliman Mohd Syukri who died in naval detention centre in Sungai Wangi, Sitiawan, Perak. The death of the two individuals represent the 10th and 11th known case of death in custody in Malaysia for the year 2017.
The post-mortem by Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital revealed that both deceased died of injuries caused by blunt force trauma. This contradicts the Royal Malaysian Navy press statement on 30th September 2017 that claims that the initial investigation revealed that there were no signs of injury on either of the deceased. The contradiction raises substantial concerns that there was an attempt to muddle the information and cause of death by those involved. Furthermore, the death of the two individuals raises additional concerns with regards to the treatment of detainees in armed forces detention camps.
SUARAM welcomes to initiative shown by the Royal Malaysian Police with this investigation and the acceptance that death in custody should be investigated as murder. SUARAM calls for the investigations to be conducted transparently and for all future death in custody cases to be investigated as a murder until proven otherwise. Past death in custody cases should also be re-examined and for investigations to be conducted as a murder investigation as per civil societies past recommendations.
SUARAM also extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased and stand in solidarity with them.