Satu lagi kematian dalam tahanan berlaku ketika ahli politik melaungkan ‘setiap nyawa berharga’ (Malay/English)

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

[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Kami, Eliminating Deaths and Abuse in Custody Together (Edict), berasa kesal kerana masih terdapat kes kematian dalam tahanan polis.

22 July: Menurut maklumat yang kami terima, kes kali ini berlaku di lokap Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah Segamat dan si mati merupakan seorang pemuda Cina.

Kami masih tidak menjumpai apa-apa kenyataan oleh pihak polis Johor atau Bukit Aman mengenai kematian ini. Kami menggesa Ketua Polis Johor Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay untuk memberikan respon.

Sesiapa pun yang dimasukkan ke dalam lokap hendaklah keluar dengan selamat. Menurut maklumat yang dikeluarkan di Parlimen, purata 16 orang tidak berjaya keluar daripada lokap setiap tahun. Mereka mati.

Lebih teruk, masih tidak ada sebarang pelan diumumkan ketua polis negara mahupun menteri dalam negeri dalam usaha menamatkan kematian didalam tahanan serta menghentikan rasa hilang keyakinan orang awam terhadap polis.

Didalam satu kenyataan bertarkh 10 Julai 2020, kami difahamkan bahawa pada tahun 2004, pihak polis telah mengeluarkan satu arahan CID No.10 yang mana menyatakan “semua siasatan polis dalam kes kematian dalam tahanan hendaklah dilengkapkan dalam tempoh 1 bulan dan satu inkues mesti diadakan”.

Kami boleh buktikan melalui rekod mahkamah bahawa perkara itu jarang berlaku.

Walaupun mantera “setiap nyawa berharga” yang sering diulang-ulang di Malaysia, ketua polis negara dan menteri dalam negeri kekal berdiam diri tatkala kes kematian dalam lokap polis semakin menjadi-jadi.

Oleh itu, kami menggesa pengerusi Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas Parlimen, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, untuk menyaman menteri dalam negeri dan meminta satu pelan untuk menamatkan masalah ini.

Kami selanjutnya menggesa para ahli parlimen di kedua-dua belah pihak untuk menyokong tindakan menamatkan layanan ibarat objek tidak bernilai terhadap tahanan atau berhenti bercakap “setiap nyawa berharga”.

30 July: Maklumbalas ketiga yang tidak memuaskan daripada pihak polis dalam bulan ini

Dalam satu kenyataan pada 22 Julai (di atas), kami telah meminta ketua polis Johor, Timbalan Pesuruhjaya Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, untuk memberi maklum balas terhadap satu laporan yang telah kami terima pada 17 Julai mengenai kematian seorang pemuda pertengahan umur berbangsa Cina di lokap Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah Segamat.

Wartawan Malaysiakini telah dengan segera menghubungi beliau. Beliau telah mengesahkan kematian tersebut. Menurut lapuran (Malaysiakini, 22 Julai 2020 “Polis sahkan satu lagi kematian dalam tahanan”) majistret telah dipanggil dan berpuas hati bahawa “tidak ada tanda-tanda salah laku atau kecederaan yang ditemui pada si mati. Sekarang kita sedang menunggu laporan bedah siasat untuk menentukan penyebab kematiannya.”

Kami maklum bahawa Kanun Prosedur Jenayah menghendaki pihak polis untuk menghubungi majistret. Oleh sebab kes-kes kematian dalam tahanan yang dahsyat ini, enam tahun yang lalu, pihak kerajaan telah bersetuju bahawa kematian mengejut mestilah dikendalikan oleh ahli badan kehakiman yang lebih senior. Pada tahun 2014, mahkamah koroner mula dikendalikan oleh hakim-hakim Mahkamah Sesyen.

READ MORE:  Fear of Covid-19 no excuse for delaying post-mortem

Mengapa pihak koroner tidak dipanggil? Bukankah ini masanya untuk Kanun Prosedur Jenayah, arahan amalan dan prosedur operasi standard perlu dipinda untuk menggantikan “majistret” kepada “koroner”? Bukankah ini adalah masanya untuk melantik lebih ramai koroner?

Kami gembira kerana ketua polis Johor dilihat tidak hanya melepaskan anggota-anggotanya. Kami gembira bilamana beliau menyatakan bahawa laporan bedah siasat mesti dirujuk sebelum mengenal pasti punca kematian.

Kami ingin menambah bahawa Kanun Prosedur Jenayah menghendaki laporan bedah siasat disemak bersama keterangan-keterangan yang lain daripada seorang koroner melalui inkues. Ia bukanlah bagi pihak polis untuk memutuskannnya.

Kanun Prosedur Jenayah menghendaki koroner untuk menentukan sama ada wujud sebarang perlakuan atau peninggalan oleh pihak yang lain yang menjadi punca kepada kematian. Koroner telah mencatatkan begitu banyak punca kematian dalam tahanan. Ini termasuk ketiadaan pengesahan kesihatan ke atas tahanan, kekurangan akses kepada perubatan, kekurangan nutrisi, kekurangan pengawasan, tindak balas terhadap kecemasan perubatan yang lemah serta lain-lain punca.

Laporan Malaysiakini tidak menyatakan alasan mengapa ketua polis Johor tidak mengeluarkan sebarang kenyataan mengenai kes tersebut. Kami tertanya-tanya adakah kes tersebut akan diketahui umum sekiranya kami tidak mendedahkannnya?

Kami ingin mengajukan kepada ketua polis Johor persoalan yang sama yang telah kami utarakan kepada ketua polis Kuala Lumpur (pada 1 Julai) dan ketua polis Selangor (pada 4 Julai): “Selain pihak koroner (sebagaimana yang diperuntukkan di bawah undang-undang), kepada siapakah mesti pihak polis melaporkan kematian tersebut? Apakah maklumat yang mesti pihak polis kemukakan kepada ahli keluarga mangsa dan orang awam? Dan bila?”

Seperti yang dapat dilihat daripada tiga kes kematian yang telah kami kemukakan dalam kenyataan-kenyataan kami pada bulan Julai ini, jelas terdapat masalah sistemik dalam melaporkan dan menyiasat kematian dalam tahanan. (Nota: Kami maklum bahawa tiada kenyataan umum oleh ketua polis Kuala Lumpur mengenai kematian dalam lokap Dang Wangi pada 25 Jun yang lalu.)

Adakah Ketua Polis Negara Hamid Bador dan Menteri Dalam Negeri Hamzah Zainuddin mengakui akan masalah ini dan akan mengambil tindakan segera?

Adakah Nik Nazmi, pengerusi Jawatankuasa Pilihan Khas Pertahanan dan Hal Ehwal Dalam Negeri Parlimen, akan memanggil menteri dalam negeri dan menuntut suatu pelan tindakan bagi menghentikan kemelut ini?

Adakah ahli Parlimen akan menunjukkan satu komitmen untuk menghentikan perlakuan terhadap nyawa manusia ibarat objek yang tidak bernilai?

English version

22 July: Another death in custody while politicians recite “all lives matter”

We, Eliminating Deaths and Abuse in Custody Together (Edict), regret that yet another person has died in police custody.

READ MORE:  Polis mesti mengambil tindakan terhadap anggota yang menyalahguna kuasa (Malay/English)

According to information we have received, the death occurred in the lockup of Segamat district police headquarters and the deceased is a middle-aged Chinese male.

We have not been able to locate any statements by Johor Police or Bukit Aman about this death. We call upon Johor police chief Deputy Commissioner Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay to comment.

Anyone who walks into a lock-up should walk out. Yet, according to data released in Parliament, an average of 16 persons per year do not walk out. They die.

Worse, neither the inspector general of police nor the home minister have announced plans to end deaths in custody and arrest any possible decline in public confidence in the police.

In a statement on 10 July 2020, we noted that in 2004 the police issued CID Directive No. 10 which stipulates “all police investigations into deaths in police custody have to be completed within the period of 1 month and an inquest must be held.”

We can prove through court records that that goal is routinely missed.

Though the mantra “every life matters” is often repeated in Malaysia, the inspector general and the home minister remain silent in the face of the scourge of deaths in police lock-ups.

Therefore, we call upon the chairman of the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on Defence and Home Affairs, Nik Nazmi bin Nik Ahmad, who is the PKR MP for Setiawangsa, to summon the home minister and demand a plan to end the scourge.

We further call on MPs on both sides of the house to either support actions to end the treatment of humans as inanimate objects or stop repeating “all lives matter.”

30 July: Third unsatisfactory response from the police this month

In a statement on 22 July (above) we asked Johor police chief, Deputy Commissioner Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, to comment on a report we had received that on 17 July a middle-aged Chinese male had died in the Segamat district police headquarters lock-up.

Malaysiakini reporters immediately contacted him. He confirmed the death. According to its report (Malaysiakini, 22 July 2020 “Cops confirm another death in custody”), the magistrate was called and was satisfied “there was no sign of foul play or injury found on the deceased. Now we are waiting for the post-mortem report to determine his cause of death.”

We know that the Criminal Procedure Code requires the police to call the magistrate. Six years ago, because of the scourge of deaths in custody, the government agreed that sudden deaths must be handled by more senior members of the judiciary. In 2014, coroners’ courts, presided over by Sessions Court judges, were established.

READ MORE:  Extraordinary times call for extraordinary actions

Why wasn’t the coroner called? Isn’t it time the Criminal Procedure Code , practice instructions and standard operating procedures are amended to replace “magistrate” with coroner? Isn’t it time to appoint more coroners?

We are glad the Johor police chief appears not to have exonerated his men. We are glad he stated that the post-mortem report must be reviewed before determining the cause of death.

We add that the Criminal Procedure Code requires the post-mortem report to be reviewed together with other evidence, by a coroner, through an inquest. It is not for the police to decide.

The Criminal Procedure Code requires coroners to determine whether any acts or omissions by others contributed to the death. Coroners have noted many causes of deaths in custody. These include unverified medical fitness to be placed in lock-ups, lack of access to medication, lack of nutrition, lack of monitoring and poor response to medical emergencies.

The Malaysiakini report says nothing about why the Johor police chief did not issue any statement about the case. We are left wondering if the case would ever have become public knowledge if we had not revealed it.

We ask the Johor police chief the same question we asked the Kuala Lumpur police chief (on 1 July) and the Selangor police chief (on 4 July): “Other than the coroner (as required by law), to whom must the police report the death? What information must the police release to each victim’s family and to the public? By when?”

As can be seen from the three cases about which we have issued statements in July, there is clearly a systemic issue with reporting and investigating deaths in custody. (Note: We know of no public comments by the KL police chief about the 25 June death in Dang Wangi lock-up.)

Will Inspector General of Police Hamid Bador and Home Minister Hamzah Zainuddin admit the problem and take immediate action?

Will Nik Nazmi, the chairman of the parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and Home Affairs summon the home minister and demand a plan to end the scourge?

Will MPs on both sides of Parliament demonstrate a commitment to end the treatment of human lives as inanimate objects?

30 July 2020

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