Hakam mengecam keputusan ketua polis negara untuk menyiasat Americk Sidhu

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Penyiasatan harus memaparkan kebebasan pasukan polis, ujar Ambiga Sreenevasan. (English version below)

Hakam mengecam keras keputusan ketua polis negara untuk menyiasat peguam Americk Sidhu disebabkan oleh akuan berkanun yang disahkan oleh anak guamnya Charles Suresh Morais.

Ini adalah kerana ia merupakan satu pelanggaran prinsip asas solicitor-client privilege. Perkara ini, lagi-lagi diiringi dengan kenyataan yang berunsur fitnah daripada ketua polis negara terhadap peguam Americk merupakan satu gangguan (harassment) terhadap seorang peguam yang sedang melaksanakan tanggungjawab profesionalnya.

Sebagai seorang ahli pasukan polis, agen kerajaan dan sebagai seorang anggota pengkuatkuasa undang-undang, ketua polis negara mempunyai tanggungjawab positif untuk menghormati dan melindungi martabat manusia dan undang-undang hak asasi untuk semua insan dalam melaksanakan tanggungjawab profesionalnya. Perkara ini adalah termaktub dalam Artikel 2, Kod Etika Pegawai Penguatkuasaan Undang-undang 1979 daripada Bangsa-bangsa Bersatu.

Seorang pegawai penguatkuasaan undang-undang tidak boleh melanggari prinsip asas perwakilan undang-undang yang berkesan kerana ia adalah hak asasi yang dijamin oleh Perlembagaan Persekutuan. Salah satu aspek penting daripada hak ini adalah konsep komunikasi terlindung. Ini bermakna, setiap pegawai penguatkuasa mempunyai tanggungjawab untuk melindungi hak yang sedia wujud ini.

Kerajaan juga harus memastikan bahawa peguam-peguam tidak digertak, diugut atau diganggu dalam melaksanakan tugas profesional mereka.

Tambahan pula, ancaman peribadi terhadap Sidhu dan anak guamnya, (selain daripada kekurangan kepekaan dari pihak ketua polis negara) menimbulkan kebimbangan tentang kekurangan kebebasan di pihak ketua polis negara dalam menyiasat kes ini.

Dalam keadaan ini, ia adalah penting untuk ketua polis negara berundur dan membenarkan siasatan dilaksanakan oleh seorang pegawai polis yang akan bertindak tanpa rasa takut atau pilih kasih. Ini adalah perlu untuk menegakkan kebebasan pasukan polis dan memberi jaminan kepada orang ramai bahawa siasatan menyeluruh dan tidak berat sebelah akan dijalankan ke atas dakwaan-dakwaan dalam Akuan Berkanun tersebut.

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Ambiga Sreenevasan ialah presiden Hakam. Kenyataan diberi bagi pihak jawatankuasa eksekutif Hakam.

Hakam: On the IGP questioning Americk Sidhu

Investigations must reflect the independence of the police force, says Ambiga Sreenevasan.

Hakam strongly condemns the IGP’s call to question lawyer Americk Sidhu on the statutory declaration affirmed by his client Charles Suresh Morais which is a violation of the fundamental principle of solicitor-client privilege.

This, coupled with the IGPs uncalled for defamatory remarks against Sidhu, smacks of harassment of a lawyer in the course of his professional duties.

As a member of the police force, an agent of the government and as a law enforcement officer, the IGP has a positive obligation to respect and protect human dignity and uphold the human rights of all persons in the performance of his professional duty. This is clearly stated in Article 2 of the United Nations Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officers 1979.

A law enforcement officer cannot violate the basic principles of effective legal representation as it is a fundamental right guaranteed under the Federal Constitution. An essential aspect of the exercise of this right is privileged communication. There cannot be effective legal representation if there is no privileged communication. This means every police officer has a duty to protect this inherent right.

Governments must also ensure that lawyers are not intimidated, harassed or interfered with in the course of discharging their professional duties. These are necessary safeguards to protect the sanctity of a solicitor-client relationship that is the basis of the right to legal representation.

Furthermore, the personal attacks on Sidhu and his client by the IGP (apart from the lack of sensitivity) raises concerns about the lack of independence on the part of the IGP in investigating this case.

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In the circumstances, it is imperative that the IGP step aside and allow for the investigations to be undertaken by an officer who will act without fear or favour. This is necessary to uphold the independence of the police force and to assure the public that a thorough and unbiased investigation will be carried out into the allegations in the statutory declaration.

Ambiga Sreenevasan is president of Hakam. This statement was issued on behalf of the Hakam executive committee.

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