Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) has received a concerning report that upward of 13 individuals who have been detained since 26 September and continues to be detained despite repeated instructions by the magistrate court for him to be released.
The 13 were first detained at IPD Kuala Langat on 26 September 2020 for an investigation of a shooting incident that took place in Banting on 25 September 2020. They were remanded for a total of 11 days for investigation. When they were supposed to be released, they were rearrested and taken to IPD Serdang for investigation of another offence that happened on 1 March 2018.
At that point, a new remand order was obtained, and they were detained for an additional four days. On 10 October 2020, police from IPD Serdang applied for a remand extension but was rejected, and the police were instructed to release the detainees at 5PM.
The police failed to comply with the instruction, and they were rearrested by IPD Jinjang for another investigation. Remand application by IPD Jinjang was rejected on 11 October 2020 with the magistrate instructing the police to release the detainees within 24 hours. The police failed to comply with the instruction again and rearrested them at IPD Putrajaya. Remand application was rejected again on 12 October 2020.
The family members were kept in the dark until 14 October where they found out that the 13 and additional of 14 people were detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) by IPK Selangor. After 28 days of detention under SOSMA, they were not charged for any offence but was rearrested for investigation under the Societies Act 1966 by IPK Selangor.
On 11 November 2020, police application for further remand was rejected again with the magistrate instructing the police to immediately release the detainees. The police did not comply with the instructions and have reportedly placed all the detainees under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959.
The practice of chain remand is abhorrent and a violation of the fundamental right to a fair trial. There is no excuse for the police to repeatedly arrest and rearrest anyone, especially when a magistrate court has clearly rejected further attempts of remand. The police action, in this case, should be considered as a contempt of court and treated as such. The abuse of power in such cases cannot be taken lightly, and stern action must be taken against police officers involved in the matter.
SUARAM call for the immediate release of the detainees. If these individuals have committed any crime, the investigation must follow the rule of law and the provisions in the Criminal Procedure Code. If they are as guilty as the police alleged, they must be charged in court and be given an opportunity to prove their innocence.
This case highlights the immediate need for an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) that is empowered to address police abuses. The Royal Malaysian Police has time and time again proven itself to be above the law and refused to account for the misconduct of its officers. IPCMC must be in place to challenge police abuse and ensure that the Royal Malaysian Police is a transparent and accountable police force.