Saturday, June 04, 2011

Not just defaming young foreign women - but now chaining and marking them - Shame on you Malaysia

Yet again we find young foreign women in nightclubs being arrested for alleged prostitution...

Was there any evidence that the women had offered sex for money? I doubt it....

What happened would have been that foreign young women have again been 'labelled' prostitutes - and worse still in this case they were chained like animal and marked with a pen (or marker pen). It is so inhumane and degrading...

And worse still someone (was it the police?) informed the media and all their faces and their state of being in chains and marked like what....have been plastered in the media.

Will they ever be charged ...and be given a fair trial? Most likely not,,,

Why? They are most probably foreign visitors on a social visit pass - which will expire soon, and after the way they have been treated by Malaysia - they would be just waiting to run back to their home country....

After a few days of arrest...and remand - most likely their social visit passes will expire - and they may just be deported. Even if they get charged, and plead not guilty, they will most likely be denied bail -  why because their social visit passes may have expired during remand....hence they cannot be allowed to freely move around - they just became undocumented.  

So, what is their choice? Plead guilty - and maybe pay the fine or serve the prison term and leave Malaysia soon as possible. To claim trial would mean languishing in detention until trial - don't know when...

So, at the end of the day...there will never be any open and fair trial...

And worse still - they will most likely not even be charged for the offence of 'prostitution' - most likely some lame sounding allegation of violating the conditions of the social visit pass... {But alas, the media would have forgotten them...and we will never know what happened at last}

How would you feel if this was your child, sister or ... ? 
What wrong did they do? Be careful not to jump to conclusions and think the worst of these women - do not conclude that these young women because our Malaysian police says that they are being arrested for alleged prostitution...or the media reports such.

Maybe one women could be detained for alleged prostitution because the police has some evidence that she did try to offer sex for money...and took the money..... but so many at one time - give me a break - it is just too preposterous..

Everyone is innocent until proven guilty

X-marks and chains for suspects rile rights groups
Joseph Sipalan
Jun 3, 11
10 friends can read this story for free
A recent vice raid in Penang sparked another bout of controversy over police conduct as civil society groups decry the way 30 foreign women were chained up and marked with pens after they were detained for alleged prostitution.

penang gro raid 030611 chain
In the raid conducted at a high-class nightclub at a shopping mall in Pulau Tikus last night, eight local men and 30 foreign women - 29 Chinese and one from Vietnam - were arrested by a team of 19 police officers from Bukit Aman.

According to the Chinese language media, the raid was carried out after the officers spent a week going undercover at the club, which is believed to be well-known among locals.

Chinese newspapers however splashed photos of the detained women, showing them chained up in a group and with various markings on their bodies, including an X mark on the forehead of one of those detained.

In previous raids, Penang police normally put an identification mark on the hand of those detained, but the raid last night was conducted by federal police from Bukit Aman. 

penang gro raid 030611 news clippingBar Council Human Rights Committee chairperson Andrew Khoo slammed the police for abusing their standard operating procedures (SOP) and at the same time committing a gross violation of human rights.

He said the police's actions are in clear violation of the rights of arrested persons, and will only alienate the public further.

“You do not physically mark them ... you can detain them but you cannot mark them,” he said when contacted.

Tenaganita director Irene Fernandez was equally shocked when told of the pictures of the women being chained and marked, stressing that it is unfair to immediately assume that they were guilty of anything.

'Victimising the victims'

“I doubt this is standard procedure and if it is, the police must reveal that (it is). There must be an investigation into this to find out why the police acted as such.

“They may very well be victims of human trafficking... here you have a situation where they are victimising the victims,” she said.

penang gro raid 030611 chainLawyers for Liberty's Faidah Nadwa Fikri branded the chaining and marking of the women as “very unusual and inhumane”, stressing that the women are merely suspects and have not even been convicted of any crime.

She pointed out however that this is a symptom of a systemic disdain for humanitarian issues in Malaysian society, where the mere act of getting arrested would put a person in a bad light.

penang gro raid 030611 marks on chest“This is a cultural problem, and a problem of (not) understanding what exactly is rule of law.

“I see when people are arrested and brought into court, some are not even wearing slippers... this reflects how we treat people,” she said.

Irene took a similar line, but focussed on the need to stamp out the deeply-ingrained perception that women are the cause of vice.

“We have to address how morality is used to judge women... the system is fundamentally wrong,” she said, adding that Tenaganita will follow-up on this issue.

System needed to 'police the police'

Khoo said the Enforcement Agencies Integrity Commission (EAIC) - set up to replace the proposed Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) - is ill-equipped to manage the countless claims of police abuse.

penang gro raid 030611 chainHe noted that this leaves the public no choice but to continue to lodge their complaints directly with the police themselves, with little indication of a solution to the issue.

“But the complaints must keep coming because only by the loudness of the complaints can this issue be heard.”

Khoo added that the authorities must have a systematic way of dealing with police abuse, which he said make up the bulk of complaints against enforcement agencies, while at the same time increasing human rights sensitivity training for the men in blue.

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