IGP Must Tackle Death in Custody Immediately or Step Down!

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) condemns the death of Benedict A/L Thanilas in Jinjang Detention Centre on 10 July 2017.

Benedict A/L Thanilas was 44 years old and was detained for investigation under the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985. He was unconscious when he was brought to the hospital 6.06AM in the morning. At the time of the family’s arrival at the hospital at around 10AM in the morning, they were informed that Benedict had passed away.

The death of Mr. Benedict marks the 9th known case of death in custody in 2017 and 7th known death in police detention for 2017. His death is also the first known case of death during detention without trial under the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act 1985.

Death in custody is the gravest human rights violation a state can inflict upon any individual and their family. The deprivation of life without the due process of the law violates all known international law and human rights principles and it is a direct violations of individual rights under Article 5 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

Furthermore, the court has ruled in the case of P. Chandran that the health of detainees while they are under detention by the police is the full responsibility of the Royal Malaysian Police. This is in-line with the international standards outlined in the Nelson Mandela Rules and it is an international standard that cannot be dismissed by the enforcement agency on a whim.

In light of the unabated cases of death in custody in the recent months, SUARAM calls for the resignation of the Inspector-General of Police for his poor track record in mishandling cases of death in police custody and the repeated failure in preventing and mitigating the issue of torture and death in police custody.

SUARAM reiterate our demand for the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to investigate into possible misconduct by the Royal Malaysian Police and for a transparent investigation to take place immediately. The police officers responsible for the well-being of the detainee must also be suspended pending the said investigation.

In Solidarity

Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM

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IGP Wajib Menangani Kes Kematian Dalam Tahanan Dengan Segera atau Letak Jawatan!

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) mengecam kematian Benedict A/L Thanilas di Pusat Tahanan Jinjang pada 10 Julai 2017.

Benedict A/L Thanilas yang berumur 44 tahun telah ditahan untuk siasatan di bawah Akta Dadah Berbahaya (Langkah-Langkah Pencegahan Khas) 1985. Beliau dalam keadaan tidak sedarkan diri semasa beliau dibawa ke hospital pada jam 6.06 pagi. Semasa keluarga tiba di hospital pada jam 10 pagi, Isteri beliau dimaklumkan bahawa beliau telahpun meninggal dunia.

Kematian Encik Benedict merupakan kes kematian dalam tahanan ke-9 yang berlaku dalam tahun 2017 dan kes kematian ‘dalam tahanan polis’ ke-7 bagi tahun 2017. Kematiannya juga merupakan kes yang pertama yang direkodkan dimana seorang tahanan meninggal dunia dibawah akta tahan tanpa perbicaraan, Akta Dadah Berbahaya (Langkah-Langkah Pencegahan Khas) 1985.

Kematian dalam tahanan ialah satu pencabulan hak asasi manusia yang serius. Kegagalan pihak berkuasa untuk mencegah isu kematian dalam tahanan merupakan satu kesalahan di sisi undang-undang antarabangsa dan bertentangan dengan prinsip-prinsip hak asasi manusia. Ianya juga merupakan pencabulan hak individu yang dijamin dibawah Perkara 5 Perlembagaan Persekutuan Malaysia.

Berkenaan dengan isu kesihatan dalam tahanan, pihak mahkamah dalam kes P. Chandran telahpun memutuskan bahawa kesihatan orang kena tahan (OKT) semasa berada dalam tahanan pihak polis ialah tanggungjawab penuh Polis Diraja Malaysia. Keputusan ini selaras dengan piawaian antarabangsa yang digariskan dalam Kaedah Nelson Mandela dan ia merupakan piawaian antarabangsa yang tidak boleh diabaikan ataupun diketepikan oleh pihak berkuasa dengan sewenang-wenangnya.

Atas sebab pihak polis berkali-kali gagal dalam melaksanakan siasatan yang telus dan seterusnya mencegah dari berlakunya kematian dalam tahanan, serta rekod buruk dalam pengendalian kes kematian dalam tahanan, SUARAM menyeru agar Ketua Polis Negara meletakkan jawatan dengan segera.

SUARAM mengulangi seruan masyarakat sivil supaya Suruhanjaya Bebas Aduan dan Salah Laku Polis (Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission, IPCMC) ditubuhkan segera, bagi menyiasat salah laku Polis Diraja Malaysia dan memastikan penyiasatan yang telus dijalankan. SUARAM sekali lagi menyeru supaya pegawai polis yang bertanggungjawab terhadap kejadian ini digantung kerja sementara siasatan dijalankan.

Yang Benar

Sevan Doraisamy
Pengarah Eksekutif
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

 

Police Intimidation Must Stop!

For Immediate Release
31st March 2016

Police Intimidation Must Stop!
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) condemns the Royal Malaysian Police’s investigation and questioning of the members of the Malaysian Bar Council under the Sedition Act 1948 for fulfilling the role expected of the Malaysian Bar Council in line with the statutory obligations and limitations imposed upon them under the Legal Profession Act 1976.

Once again, the Royal Malaysian Police has decided to spearhead another crackdown against dissenters on behalf of the Government of Malaysia. There is no sound justification for members of the Malaysian Bar to be investigated and called for questioning for demanding the resignation of a public official. The notion that the motion passed by the Malaysian Bar Council could be construed as seditious is unfathomable and perverse.

In the absence of sound justifications, the investigation and questioning of the Secretary of the Malaysian Bar, Karen Cheah Yea Lynn and members of the Malaysian Bar, Charles Hector Fernandez; Francis Pereira; and Shanmugam a/l Ramasamy can only be interpreted as a malicious attempt to intimidate and silent dissent. The Royal Malaysian Police should remember that it is not their duty to ‘protect’ any public official from criticisms.

On this note, SUARAM demands for the Royal Malaysian Police to cease its harassment against the Malaysian Bar Council and issue a public apology to the Malaysian Bar for this debacle. Failure to take appropriate remedial steps for this gross mistake in judgment would only serve to invalidate the claim made by the Inspector-General of Police’s claim that the Royal Malaysian Police is always professional.

In Solidarity,
Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM

Stop Intimidating and Punishing Human Rights Defender

For Immediate Release
11 January 2016

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) condemns the arrests of Sivarajan Arumugam, Silvarajah Erusam, Saiful Adli Jamian dan Mohd Afiq Bin Ayob under Section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 for attending a candle light vigil in Johor Bahru.

As the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 is in general a non-arrestable offence with power to arrest only in selected circumstances, the fact that some of them were arrested and detained overnight under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 was a clear abuse of power by the authorities. Based on this fact, the arrests and detention of those attending the candlelight vigil for Khairul Nizam can only be interpreted as an unconscionable attempt to intimidate and punish human rights defenders! Such an attempt to normalize such intimidation and abuse of power must be rejected and condemned!

On this note, SUARAM reminds the Royal Malaysian Police regarding Government of Malaysia’s commitment to the United Nations General Assembly’s resolution on Human Rights Defenders and our constitutional right to have peaceful assembly and demand the Royal Malaysian Police to cease with the campaign of intimidation against civil activists and stop the extrajudicial punishment!

In Solidarity,

Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM

Stop the Intimidation and Release Khairul Nizam Immediately!

For Immediate Release
8th January 2016

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) strongly condemns the arrests of Khairul Nizam at his home in Kota Bahru on the 8th January 2016.

Despite Khairul Nizam’s willingness to cooperate with the police in the past, he was first arrested at IPD Dang Wangi when he willingly submitted himself for questioning on the 28th December 2015. The fact that the magistrate court rejected the application for remand by the police makes it clear that it is unnecessary for Khairul Nizam to be subjected to any form of detention at this juncture.

Even so, barely two weeks after his arrest at IPD Dang Wangi, Police that identified themselves as officers from IPD Kota Bahru arrested Khairul Nizam at his home in Kota Bahru in the morning of 8th January 2016.

Khairul Nizam was not informed of the reason for his arrests during his arrests and the Royal Malaysian Police have been slow in providing lawyers with the necessary information regarding his arrests and present whereabouts. Further, Khairul Nizam was immediately taken to IPD Johor Bahru after his arrests, this growing trend of local ‘extradition’ would undoubtedly bring hardship to those involved with his arrests.

The manner of his arrest and the failure to convey the reason of his arrest clearly contravenes with recognized international human rights principles and borderlines illegal based on established procedures.

The series arrests and prosecution of critics of the Government of Malaysia should not be a norm of Malaysia and MUST not be the task of the Royal Malaysian Police. On this note, SUARAM demands that the Royal Malaysian Police to release Khairul Nizam immediately and cease its intimidation against civil activists!

In Solidarity,

Sevan Doraisamy
Executive Director
SUARAM