IGP must tackle death in custody immediately or step down

1
We need to avoid congestion in cells and prisons - File photo: themalaymailonline

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 at 6.06am. When the family arrived at the hospital at around 10am, they were informed that Benedict had passed away.

Benedict’s death is the ninth known case of death in custody in 2017 and seventh 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 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 in detention by the police is the full responsibility of the police. This is in line with international standards outlined in the Nelson Mandela Rules; it is an international standard that cannot be dismissed by the enforcement agency on a whim.

In the light of the unabated cases of deaths in custody in recent months, Suaram calls for the resignation of the inspector general of police for his poor track record in handling cases of deaths in police custody and the repeated failure in preventing and mitigating the issue of torture and death in police custody.

READ MORE:  Right decision to drop charges against 12 accused of supporting LTTE

Suaram reiterates its demand for the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission to investigate possible misconduct by the police and for a transparent investigation to take place immediately. The police officers responsible for the wellbeing of the detainee must also be suspended pending investigation.

Sevan Doraisamy is executive director of Suaram.

Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

Our voluntary writers work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to support our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our editorial independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. If everyone reading this was to make a donation, our fundraising target for the year would be achieved within a week. So please consider making a donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB Bank account number 8004240948.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Lau Chengkeat
5 Aug 2017 11.42pm

Agreed 101%! Too many deaths in police lock ups!