Thursday, July 17, 2008

Spending the night on a "cold cement floor" must end..

They could have released Anwar last night but they did not.... Today, Anwar was seen leaving at 9.45am. The question that I have is whether he was subjected to any further questioning or investigation this morning? If he was not, then the actions of the police of detaining him overnight was wrong - and motivated by bad intentions. Why torture him by forcing him to spend a night on the cold floor of the lock-ups? Maybe, they did not want to disturb the officer in charge who was already home - off-duty, asleep....mmm

"...PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has been freed on police bail this morning. He was seen leaving with his family and lawyers in a car at 9.45am..." - Malaysiakini, 17/7/2008 - Anwar freed on police bail.

The police do have the power and the authority to detain an arrested person for up to 24 hours, and thereafter for further periods based on the Magistrate's order.

And the reason for any detention (and/or extended periods of detention) is because "....the investigation cannot be completed..." AND "...there are grounds for believing that the accusation or information is well founded..." (see earlier posting - "Anwar overnight detention...")

Now, the fact is that investigation can be carried out with or without arresting and detaining the suspect or the witness -- Therefore, the purpose of further detention must be confined only to that investigation that requires the suspect/witness to be further detained - noting of course, the availability of the police bail option and also the section 111 Criminal Procedure Code option that can compel, order or even arrest and bring in (if need be).

A person like Anwar now, is merely a suspect (or a witness) and he is not even an ACCUSED person (Si-dituduh)...or a convicted person (yang telah disabitkan..) - and the law is that a person is presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty.

Proven meaning proven in a court of law in a fair and open trial by an independent judge. It is only when he is convicted that he is GUILTY.


It is akin a chicken coop with Bars - and the floor. There are NO beds, or even mattresses. If there is a toilet in the lock-up, it is just a hole for one to squat and do your business, with no covering...and certainly no running water to clean thereafter. Lock-ups are usually crowded with many a time no space for walking when all detainees are asleep...

The conditions of PRISON (where one goes after being convicted), and REMAND PRISONS (where those who cannot afford bail or do not get bail, stay and wait until their trial begins and ends) are far better than the conditions of the POLICE LOCK-UPS.

85 deaths recorded in police lock-ups during the 2003-2007 period, this was what the Deputy Home Minister revealed to Parliament on 8/7/2008.

And, in
in February 2005,Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi revealed that "...from 1990 till September last year[2004]...150 detainees died in police lock-ups or custody"

There must be REFORMS - and the bad conditions of the police lock-up must be improved and made better. Remember, that those being detained are there to assist in police investigations - they have not even been charged...surely not convicted. Bad conditions in lock-up ends up with persons being "TORTURED" - and this is not at all right.

Severe back pain

Soon after the release, Sivarasa said Anwar had complained of back pain after spending the night on a "cold cement floor" last night.

"He was lying on a slab of cement the whole of last night in a cell and he needs emergency medical treatment," Sankara told AFP, adding that he required an injection to control the pain. - Malaysiakini, 17/7/2008 - Anwar freed on police bail

Anwar knows what it is like. Many other Human Rights Defenders know about the condition in police lock-ups -- and I call on Anwar and the Pakatan Rakyat to make this a PRIORITY issue - i.e. that the conditions of Police Lock-Ups be improved.

Also, Anwar, the Pakatan Rakyat and all concerned about 'Reformasi" or justice must call for reforms in the law...

No one should be subjected to the kind of treatment that Anwar had to go through (and in fact most others suffer even more...) from the point of arrest...

I call on Anwar and the Pakatan Rakyat to make this a PRIORITY issue - the reform of the Criminal Justice System in Malaysia.

In Hong Kong, those arrested are detained in a separate detention center during the remand period - not anymore in these police lock-ups. These detention facilities are definitely so much better than the police lock-ups. When needed for police investigation, the detainees are brought from these detention centres... - it is time we had such facilities in Malaysia - and then no more will people end up with back-pains because they were force to spend the night lying on cold cement floors...

In fact PM, DPM, Khairy and all MPs should spend a night in the police lock-ups and I am sure, that the following day there will be an emergency motion calling for this much-delayed improvement on lock-up conditions...


Anonymous said...

"In fact PM, DPM, Khairy and all MPs should spend a night in the police lock-ups and I am sure, that the following day there will be an emergency motion calling for this much-delayed improvement on lock-up conditions..."

Maybe they wont for now but they may get a taste of it when there is a change of Govt........and hopefully soon !

artic turban said...

iagree with your comment only to a certain extent, i.e per regarding
'In fact PM, DPM, Khairy and all MPs should spend a night in the police lock-ups and I am sure, that the following day there will be an emergency motion calling for this much-delayed improvement on lock-up conditions' what i disagree is they should not be let out, and the keys thrown away and let the police 'investigate' them and "find/fabricate" 'evidence' so they can spend the rest of their scum-eating days partaking the exquisite cuisine of his majesty's prison.

Francis said...

Hopefully very soon those buch of monkeys will spent their time in there for good!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with this brilliant article! Good timing! All the NGOs, Bar Council (particularly the newly-formed Huamn Rights Committee) and Suhakam must take up this issue seriously and investigate the cause of deaths of those detained as reported. In fact, I experienced it myself during the arrest on International Human Rights Day March on Dec 9th. last year. We had to sleep on a dirty wooden board and there were no slippers given, especially when going to the toilet, to prevent skin disease. Whilst waiting at the court cell in Kompleks Mahkamah Jln. Duta, myself and fellow detainee were tortured psychologically from going to the toilet since the toilet wall was only our knee’s height and hence, your activity could be watched from outside the cell. The nasty Special Branch officers purposely waited outside the cell and watched us menacingly, and hence we had to restrain ourselves for five hours from using the toilet until the lawyer arrives. And then demanded through the lawyer to use proper toilet outside. Isn’t this sexual violation of detainees? Further, I also saw many male detainees, especially foreign ones, being brought to court barefoot! I’ve referred all these issues to SUARAM and have yet to hear from them; and it seems like no one is taking this issue seriously. I’m pursuing this case further with another NGO, Women’s Affairs Dept. at Selangor’s State Office and Suhakam; because I’m more concerned about detainees who are not informed of their human rights and who might have uncaring lawyers to represent them.

Noor Aza Othman.

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

What is there really to gain
To torture a man with back pain?
What respect is shown at the door
When you have to sleep on cement floor?

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 170708
Thur. 17th July 2008.

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

How can anyone be so cruelly condemned
Even before being charged in court?
How can a country's image be redeemed
With so many strange conducts to court?

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 170708
Thur. 17th July 2008.