Saturday, May 15, 2010

Oppose remand applications in Police Headquarters to protect human rights of suspects

Shocking news for human rights....for police custody.

According to law,  the police after arresting a person is not permitted to detain a person for more than 24 hours. For further detention, to complete their investigation the police have to go to the Magistrate and apply for a remand order...

These application were all done at the court complexes generally, save for public holidays when sometimes the Magistrate may go to the police station to hear this application. The suspect has a right to be represented by a lawyer of the suspect's choice.

Previously, there was already a lot of concern when the police seem to present in numbers during the remand proceedings, and this often resulted in 'fear' - and suspects who have been tortured, abused, human rights violated (not not being given access to their medication...or to see a doctor) are just too scared to reveal what happened to the Magistrate for worry that they will suffer even worse when they go back into police detention. It is even scary when the police 'torturer' is there as well. Some of these police officers that 'tortured' the suspect also may have threatened them not to reveal anything to the Magistrate (or others)..

Irrational though the fear to tell the truth about police wrong-doing but it is very real for the affected suspect...The large numbers of police present during remand proceedings was already a problem....but now, in Kuala Lumpur the courts have decided that all remand application in Kuala Lumpur area will be done at the Bukit Jalil District Police Headquarter, Kuala Lumpur from 17/5/2010. 

This makes it even worse for the suspects ....and we must protest this move. All remand applications should be done at the courts...and during these applications, only the relevant investigating officer should be present in the room. [In fact, it would really be best if there was a 'special court police', with a different uniform and under the judiciary..who will take custody of the suspect when they arrive in court...and return them back to the police if the remand order is granted. This certainly will remove some of the 'fear' and the suspect will be more likely to reveal any torture, the police to the Magistrate]

I sincerely hope that the Bar Council will not be silent about this ...and will fight to have the remand applications in court.

There is a lot of restrictions at Police Stations, what more police headquarters...we know about the case of lawyers being kept at the gates not permitted to even see their clients...and even arrested when they insist on their rights. In the courts, there is also the opportunity for those who do not yet have a lawyer retain the services of a lawyer (or at least get a legal aid lawyer to act for the suspect.)

If the image and the credibility of our Malaysian police was good - then we will not be too worried. But there have just been too many allegations of torture, death in custody, 'shoot to kill' incidents, lies (like in the case of Anwar's black eyes) .... and, so it is important that we protest strongly this move to have all remand applications done at a Police Headquarters - it is best that it continued to be done at the court complexes/buildings (certainly a more neutral environment which will encourage the suspect to reveal the truth about police 'wrong-doings').

The Bar Council was informed apparently vide letter dated 10/5/2010...and they informed lawyers vide e-mail dated 14/5/2010 - and the remand applications for the whole of KL will be in that police headquarters (which I too do not exactly know where) on 17/5/2010. If it is the second remand application, will it be the same Magistrate that granted the first order be hearing it - which should be, for she will be the one familiar with the facts and the reasons why the first remand was granted, etc... I am sure that there will be a lot of confusion...and a lot of rights violated by this really very "short-notice" ....

See earlier post: (which also contain the relevant sections concerning remand applications)

Police violates human rights...and abuses the law (and its safeguards) by using Detention Without Trial laws..against 2 young persons

No comments: