Monday, December 14, 2009

SUARAM: Ongoing Abuse of Police Power Must End!

Press Statement: 14 December 2009

Ongoing Abuse of Police Power Must End!

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) strongly condemns the police for misusing their power in the arrest of Hindraf leader, S Jayathas, on the grounds of wearing an anti-ISA badge when Hindraf had a prayer ceremony yesterday, 13 December 2009 to mark the Internal Security Act (ISA) detention of five Hindraf leaders two years ago.

Article 10(1)(a) of the Federal Constitution states that every citizen has the right to freedom of expression. S Jayathas has the right to express his opinions under the protection of constitution and his arrest is a violation of his constitutional right.

The police committed a grave violation of Article 5(3) of the Federal Constitution which states that when ‘a person is arrested he shall be informed as soon as may be of the grounds of his arrest… ’ According to news reports[1], the police did not inform S Jayathas of the grounds of arrest even after they were asked.

SUARAM questions how it was possible that with the ongoing abuse of police power during the course of duty, the police force are still regarded as having ‘‘excellent performance’’ by the Malaysian Government.[2] SUARAM is not aware of any effort to reform the police force and to improve respect for fundamental constitutional and human rights, as proven in the arrest of S Jayathas.

The low public confidence in the police force today is in part due to its lack of accountability. This has been made worse by the recent police shooting cases and the attempts by the police in defending itself or making arrests without proper and transparent investigation procedures.

In light of the recent and ongoing police abuse power cases, there is an urgent need to put an end to the abuse of power amongst the police in any circumstances by abiding to the Federal Constitution and Police Act.

The Government should immediately revisit and implement the recommendations of the Royal Police Commission on the Police. The ongoing human rights violations committed by the police can be attributed to the failure of the Government to implement reform actions on the police force.  

Released by,

Yap Heng Lung

[1] Malaysiakini (2009) ‘Hindraf man nabbed for ‘wearing anti-ISA badge’’ , 13 December, at, accessed 14 December 2009.
[2]AbuSemanYusop,20october 2009,thirdmeeting of the Second Seesion of the Twelfth Parliament,DR.20.10.2009(p7)

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