DEATHS IN CUSTODY: INCAPACITY FOR OUTRAGE IN ‘NEW MALAYSIA’

Press statement by Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser 14 July 2019

What does it take to make every elected representative and police officer feel outrage whenever there is a case of a death in custody?

Under the bad old Barisan Nasional regime, deaths in police and enforcement agencies’ custody were shrugged off with sickening indifference. It is already 10 years since the death of Teoh Beng Hock at the headquarters of the Selangor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), 10 years without the closure that only the truth can make possible.  

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Justice for Dharmendran Must be Pursued

For Immediate Release
1st July 2016

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) is disappointed with the decision reached by the court in the prosecution of police officers that allegedly caused the death of N. Dharmendran in police custody.

In April 2016, the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) delivered a substantive report on the death of N. Dharmendran. The report’s findings suggest that some police officers were directly or indirectly involved with altering documentations and evidences relating to the death of N. Dharmendran. Further, the report also highlights the weak links in the operating procedures of the Royal Malaysian Police on custodial death and recommended for actions to be taken against officers responsible for illegally altering documentations and records relating to N. Dharmendran’s detention.

In light of the availability of clear evidence indicating complicity, it is of paramount importance that criminal sanction made against all those responsible for causing the death of the Dharmendran. With the clear evidence of physical violence against the deceased, failure to prosecute would be a travesty of justice. If the prosecution is incapable of producing sufficient evidence for a charge of murder, the prosecution must re-evaluate its approach to the case.

To this end, SUARAM calls for the prosecution to seek an appeal against the decision by the courts and ensure that justice is done. SUARAM reiterate our previous call for prosecution for other officers that were complicit in altering the evidences relating to the death of N. Dharmendran and ensure that all that were involved with the case would not escape justice.

In Solidarity,

Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM

Justice for Dharmendran & Family: Take Action Immediately!

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) welcomes the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) report on the death of N. Dharmendran and call on the Attorney General’s Chambers and the Royal Malayian Police to take immediate actions based on the EAIC’s report.

The issue of custodial death has plagued Malaysia since time immemorial with select members of Royal Malaysian Police showing complete disregard for custodial death. Some members of the Royal Malaysian Police have shown their inclination to manipulate the evidences in order to protect their interests such as in the case of A. Kugan. The damning report by EAIC leaves no doubt that those that were complicit in causing the death must be punished accordingly in order to deter future offenders and for the Royal Malaysian Police to restore its image and integrity.

To this end, SUARAM calls for immediate and drastic steps to be taken by the Royal Malaysian Police. All officers directly implicated by EAIC report must be suspended from duty immediately pending a formal disciplinary action. If EAIC report is found to be accurate, these officers must be immediately discharged from the force.

The EAIC have clearly indicated that selected members of Royal Malaysian Police have disregarded Para 33 of the Inspector General of Police’s Standing Order (IGSO) Part A ‘118’ and acted directly against the IGP’s order. The Inspector General of Police should cease his attempts to discredit EAIC report and undertake immediate steps to remedy the problem at hand. Failure to adhere to the ISGO also clearly contravenes the IGP earlier claims that the Royal Malaysian Police is always professional in their conduct. The cause of non-compliance with ISGO must be thoroughly investigated.

In light of the ample evidence against officers that were complicit in the death of N. Dharmendran, the Attorney General’s Chambers must initiate prosecution against those involved. Failure to do so would undoubtedly raise the perception that the criminal justice system in Malaysia as biased and favours enforcement agencies. With the Royal Malaysian Police compromised by two damning reports from EAIC and falling public perceptions, the Attorney General’s Chambers must take steps to protect the integrity of the criminal justice system.

SUARAM would like to remind all those concerned that failure to act would result in further injustice and put thousands of detainees at further risk of harm. Immediate steps must be taken to address this gross human rights violations and ensure that custodial death would not reoccur. SUARAM would also like to acknowledge the comprehensive report and investigation by EAIC and look forward to the conclusion of other investigations by EAIC.

In Solidarity
Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM