Death in Custody: Suspend IO pending Investigation!

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.

In Solidarity

Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director


Setahun yang lepas iaitu pada 27 November 2014, SUARAM telah mengeluarkan kenyataan media menggesa pihak polis yang terlibat dalam kematian dalam tahanan Syed Mohamed Azlan agar dibawa ke muka pengadilan. Bagaimanapun sehingga hari ini walaupun sudah setahun si mati telah mati dalam tahanan iaitu pada 3 November 2014 masih tiada sebarang tindakan diambil oleh pihak polis untuk membawa orang yang bertanggungjawab ke muka pengadilan.


Bahkan tiada sebarang inkues dilakukan bagi mencari punca sebenar kematian mangsa. Pada 1 November 2015, pihak Suruhanjaya Integriti Agensi Penguatkuasaan (EAIC) telah mengeluarkan laporan berkaitan dengan siasatan mereka berkenaan kes kematian Syed Mohamed Azlan dengan menyatakan:

“Kematian Syed Mohamed Azlan bin Syed Mohamed Nur (si mati) mempunyai kaitan dengan penggunaan kekerasan secara fizikal oleh pihak polis yang menjalankan tangkapan dan soal siasat ke atas si mati”

Memorandum penuh boleh dimuat turun di capaian di bawah:

Memorandum kepada Ketua Polis Negara – Syed Mohamed Azlan

Death in custody perpetrator freed while witness to crime is victimised

Press Statement: 27 October 2010

SUARAM condemns the police beating and arrest of K. Selvachandran, a witness in R. Gunasegaran’s death in custody inquest. He had testified during the inquest that he saw Lance Corporal Mohd Faizal Mat Taib assaulted Gunasegaran before the suspect collapsed and died. On 25 October, the coroner’s court gave an “open verdict” into R Gunasegaran’s inquest because the cause of his death while in police custody could not be conclusively proven.

On the same day, K. Selvachandran was arrested at his home around 10pm by 5 plainclothes police officers and beaten up in front of his wife and children before he was taken away to the KL police contingent headquarters. The officers told Selvachandran’s wife, S. Saraswathy that he would be detained for 60 days, and may be extended to an additional 2 years. It should be noted that only 3 laws allow for such a long period of detention, namely the Internal Security Act, the Dangerous Drugs Act (Special Preventive Measures) and the Emergency Ordinance.

SUARAM is extremely concerned with the arrest and detention of Selvachandran – as the police seemed to be sending a strong message that they can act with impunity with no regards to the rule of law, police professionalism and the law and procedure governing their conduct. It cannot be a mere coincidence that Selvachandran was arrested so soon and further more he was detained under unspecified charges under draconian provisions that allow the police to detain a suspect without trial for up to two years. It is a blatant abuse of police power that points to police retaliation

SUARAM demands for the immediate release of Selvachandran and calls for Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Ismail Omar to walk the talk of his 4P (Proactive, Protective, Performance-oriented and People-oriented) plan by first curbing the culture of lawlessness and abuse of power in the police force as exemplified in the death of Gunasegaran and detention without trial of Selvachandran.

The IGP must ensure that police officers adhere to the laws and procedures that govern the arrest and detention of suspects, and they cannot act as they pleased to retaliate against a witness who testified against them. What message is being sent to other potential witnesses other than a strong warning not to testify against the police?

SUARAM also calls for the implementation of the IPCMC as recommended by the Royal Commission on the Police in 2005 to hold the police accountable over abuse of power and human rights as clearly proven time and time again; the police cannot be relied upon to investigate themselves.

Released by,

Hasbeemasputra Abu Bakar


Guna’s death is police’s fault, claims lawyer

Joseph Sipalan
Sep 13, 10

The coroner’s court today was told that the blame for R Gunasegaran’s death in custody fell squarely on the police for their “actions and omissions”.

Counsel M Visvanathan, who is representing Gunasegaran’s family, claimed that the police had “expedited” Gunasegaran’s death by assaulting him while he was in detention and failing to provide him emergency first aid when he collapsed.

Visvanathan (left) added that the police officers involved in the case had failed in carrying out their duties, accusing them of refusing to act on information that they gathered from witnesses’ statements.

“It appears as if there is a conspiracy among several parties in this case to keep the truth behind Gunasegaran’s death from surfacing,” he said in his submission at the inquest.

Visvanathan went further by accusing the six police witnesses of lying to the court and giving statements that contradicted each other on numerous issues.

He maintained that Gunasegaran died from a large injury measuring nearly a foot long and five centimetres deep on his chest caused by a kick allegedly made by Lans Corporal Mohd Faizal Mat Taib, and not due to a drug overdose as claimed by deputy public prosecutor Shashitah Mohamad Hanifa.

Gunasegaran, 31, who was arrested on a drug charge, collapsed while being fingerprinted at the facility between 6.45pm and 7pm while in police custody and was pronounced dead at 7.40pm on July 16 at Kuala Lumpur Hospital last year.

The police said in its official findings that Gunasegaran died due to drug abuse.

Visvanathan however agreed with Shahsitah’s argument that the police officers involved had abused their powers and failed to follow procedure when carrying out their duties.

Officers were lax

Shahsitah earlier contended that the officers involved had failed to file a report on Gunasegaran’s arrest as required, neither have they filed a report to this day on Gunasegaran’s death in custody.

She added that the officers who detained Gunasegaran and four others in an anti-crime raid on July 16 last year did not make any notes in their pocket books.

The list went on with a clear violation of procedure when they recorded statements from the detainee witnesses at 2.30am and also contradictions between what was written in the station diary and the testimony of the officers regarding the time of the raid.

Earlier when taking the stand, Sergeant Major Rajinder Singh shot down an entry in the Sentul police station diary which recorded that the operation started at 3pm, saying that it was a mistake in the station diary while maintaining that the operation started at 5.30pm.

Shahsitah stressed that this failure to follow proper procedure shows a lack of responsibility among the officers involved and opened the police to “avoidable” accusations.

“However, what is clear is that the testimony of the experts must be considered by the court and it is difficult for the court not to accept the testimony that the cause of death is drug-related,” she said.

Coroner Siti Shakirah Mohtarudin has set aside Oct 21 to present the court’s findings.

Jemputan menghadiri kes perbicaraan inkues R.Gunasegaran

Kes R.Gunasegaran merupakan salah satu kes kematian dalam tahanan yang amat memerlukan pemerhatian daripada semua pihak masyarakat.

Pihak SUARAM ingin menjemput semua pihak untuk menghadiri perbicaraan inkues tersebut dan memberikan sokongan kepada ahli keluarga R.Gunasegaran yang berani berdepan untuk memperjuangkan keadilan dan hak asasi manusia daripada penindasan oleh pihak polis.

kami berharap kes ini mendapat liputan yang luas supaya mendapat perhatian daripada rakyat dan memberi tekanan kepada kerajaan untuk menubuhkan IPCMC ( Suruhanjaya Bebas Salahlaku dan Aduan Polis ) dan membuat reformasi terhadap institusi Polis Diraja Malaysia.

Latar belakang:

R.Gunasegaran (31 tahun) didapati mati dalam tahanan di Balai Polis Sentul pada hari bulan 16 Julai 2009 selepas 2 jam dia ditangkap oleh polis dalam satu operasi penangkapan penagihan dadah di sekitar kawasan Sentul.
Namun demikian,kakak Gunasaegaran yang bernama R.Ganga Gowri telah melaporkan kepada polis terhadap sebab tidak setuju kematian adiknya adalah berpunca daripada pengambilan dadah yang berlebihan dan dia mempercayai Gunasegaran pernah dipukul oleh pengawai polis sebelum dia meninggal dunia, dan kenyataan tersebut disetujui oleh beberapa orang saksi yang pada masa itu berada dalam lokap yang sama dengan adiknya, mereka menyatakan Gunasegaran dipukul oleh polis dengan menggunakan hos getah dan juga kayu.

“Memperjuangkan Hak Asasi Manusia!”

Yap Heng Lung

Penyelaras SUARAM