Police Abuses and Harassment against Human Rights Defenders Must Stop

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) strongly condemn the arrest of Siti Kassim. Siti Kassim was reportedly arrested under Section 186 of the Penal Code (obstructing public servant in discharge of his public function) and Section 363 of the Penal Code for kidnapping when the police broke into her house detaining her and her client who was sheltered at her house.

Apart from the ridiculous circumstances which the Royal Malaysian Police find it necessary to utilize its power to forgo the need for a warrant in order to detain an individual and her legal counsel for alleged issue of faith and mental instability, the Royal Malaysian Police continues to soil its tarnished image with its insistence of arresting and detaining lawyer and human rights activist, Siti Kassim under Section 186 and Section 363 for merely exercising her legal rights and upholding the rights of her client.

The reported claims of Selangor Criminal Investigation Department that the officers in duties had to break into the house to prevent Siti’s client from harming herself and others is ludicrous as there was no sound and credible evidence that the person in question had any intent or was in any position to harm herself or others.

The inability of the Royal Malaysian Police to cease with its abhorrent human rights violations and harassment against human rights defenders makes it abundantly clear that it is necessary for there to be an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to be introduced immediately.

SUARAM reiterate our strongest condemnation for the arrest and call for Siti Kassim’s immediate release and for the police officers involved in instructing the arrest suspended pending an inquiry into their conduct.

In Solidarity
Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM

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