Wednesday, November 06, 2019

TORTURE - Investigate first > Speedy denial by IGP and Minister will deter people highlighting torture and abuses by police?

Home Minister, Muhyiddin, and Inspector General of Police(IGP)'s recent speedy denial of torture, as alleged by some SOSMA detainees, is disturbing..

If there is an allegation of torture or police wrongdoing, then the reasonable response is to conduct an INVESTIGATION.

If there were CCTV cameras(with recording capability), all over the police station and places of detention that records every movement of every arrestee, from the moment of arrest - it will be so easy to determine that those arrested/detained were not tortured, not threatened, ...and whether the police conducted themselves according to law and that 'still mysterious SOP(Standard Operating Procedures). Yes, CCTV recordings will ensure a 'clean' police force and ensure that there is no torture or other abuses of the law - Did the IGP and the Home Minister rely on these CCTV records to say that the allegations are false?

Anwar's Black Eye - the police denied allegations > later the truth came out and that earlier denial was a LIE.

Death in Custody - Again there was denial > but we see that EAIC Inquiries reveal otherwise.

The recent Najib trials show how other civil servants stayed 'silent' even when they knew or ought to know that somethings were wrong and/or against the law. The culture of 'speedy defence' of police officers and those under one's Ministry as happened is also something that must end. If there is an allegation of wrongdoings - then there must be proper investigation...people should be encouraged to HIGHLIGHT any alleged wrongdoings.

The IGP's request to those who alleged wrongdoings and their lawyers to produce CCTV recording is laughable - 
The Inspector-General of Police has urged anyone who made such allegations to produce their evidence including the closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera footage of the alleged misconduct to the court."I strongly deny all the public allegations of unlawful act or misconduct by our police officers against any of the LTTE detainees made by their lawyers and certain politicians."I stand firm on the explanation given by my officers that the allegations are completely baseless and very irresponsible," he said in a statement to Bernama here Saturday (Nov 2).
In Hong Kong, the arrestee(or his/her lawyer), have a right to request and get CCTV recordings from point of arrest ...all the time the arrestee was in police custody. GOOD PRACTICE > that will make sure police do not torture or do things against the law, and all investigations are in full compliance of the law..

The current problem with torture or other abuse in police custody is:-

1) The difficulty of proving the allegations > as even other witnesses are police officers - and will they be witnesses against their fellow police officers? 

2)  The difficulty of making police reports to allege torture or police abuses - one may request the right to make a police report - but will they get it? Of course, denial of the opportunity to make a police report is also wrong. Then there is the risk that after making such report, the police may counter with a report of making a false report..

3) The worry of retaliation by the police - maybe more torture or ... Even, when tortured, many victims simply do not want to reveal this, even though some may tell their lawyers,...Physical torture which is 'sexual' in nature sometimes is even worse, and victims simply do not want to reveal - worry that later the 'shame' will be intollerable.

4) Magistrates can curb torture - knowing that arrestee will be brought before Magistrates for remand applications 'protects' them from torture that may be visible. In a case, which I acted before, when one of the detainee allegedly had a 'black eye' the police chose to evade the Magistrate and simply brought the accused before a District Officer(2nd Class Magistrate) for further remand order. I protested this by bringing up the matter to the Magistrate who had heard all previous remand hearings...[But, torture, even physical torture, can be 'hidden' if torturer is skilled - i.e. no visible signs of torture > maybe a speedy medical examination may reveal the fact of torture.

5) SOSMA, where there is no requirement to bring detainee before Magistrate for further remand hearings...means that even if there is physical proof of torture - it could not be highlighted to the Magistrate > hence TORTURE and abuses are easier without requirement of remand proceedings in front of a Magistrate. (The reason why the maximum length of remand orders was fixed by law through amendments - where the maximum even for murder is now 7 days - thereafter before the Magistrate again for further remands COULD have been to DETER torture ..and for the Magistrate to also monitor and ensure no police abuses of the Detainee) - but this protection is not available when SOSMA is used...or POTA/POCA/DWT laws are used, is there?


 
 


  • Sosma detainees complain of torture and intimidation
Kow Gah Chie
Published:  |  Modified:
Five out of 12 suspects who were charged with supporting the now-defunct terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have complained of mistreatment, torture or intimidation during their detention.

This prompted Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi to record statements from two accused persons in camera today, whereby the media were not allowed to cover the court proceedings.

In camera means that only the judge, lawyers and witnesses are present during the testimony.

The two accused person who will be recounting their experiences before Azura were grocery shop owner B Subramaniam, 57, and scrap metal dealer A Kalaimughilan, 28. 

This is being done under Section 131 of the Criminal Procedure Code after Friday prayers.

Lawyer S Selvam, who applied for the court to hear the statement of his client Subramaniam told Malaysiakini that his client complained of being tortured. 

"During the arrest and subsequent (detention in) 21 days, he was tortured and forced to say 'I am an LTTE member'," he said. 

"He faced all sort of threats, including a threat that he would be sent prison for life if he didn't do this (what asked by the police)," said Selvam. 

Subramaniam's son S Ravindran and daughter-in-law R Thiviya alleged that the police threatened that he should confess to his involvement with LTTE or else the police would not release all his five sons and his wife. 

"When we saw him for the first time five days after his arrest on Oct 10, he was in tears. He said they really threatened him, saying all his five sons and his wife were caught and they were in jail," said Thiviya. 

"They said, 'If you don't admit then we will charge them according to what we charge you'," she added. 

"They are manipulating him (into thinking) that the entire family is (being charged as) a terrorist family," she added. 

"He was inside and he had been mentally tortured. You imagine that one person was arrested and doesn't know where he is, and the room was dark," she said. 

Ravindran said his father was "given the offer" of serving only two years in prison unlike the others who will be put in jail for 15 years. 

"(They tried to) forced him to sign the (confession) form, but he didn't," he said. 

Meanwhile, lawyer MV Yoges (photo, below right), who acted for Kalaimughilan, said her client was kept in a separate dark cell where he couldn't communicate with others.


The cell did not comply with lock-up regulations under which the detainee was not provided with a bed and pillow while the toilet was clogged and full of mosquitoes, rats and cockroaches, according to her. 

"My client had an accident back in April and got eight stitches at his head. He suffered back pain and he could not stand nor sit for long," added Yoges. 

She said the court should examine the statement of her client and record the statement. 

"Basically, they are punished before they were proven guilty, they were treated like terrorists," she said. 

Yoges' colleague Raja Sekaran added the police appeared to be attempting to break their spirits and get his client to confess and plead guilty by torturing them physically. 

"Some of them told they will get lesser charges if they plead guilty," he said. 

Meanwhile, Yoges who represented three others who were charged in another court presided by judge Azman Amad, applied to the court to take the statements of her clients. 

They are teacher R Sundram, 52, security guard M Pumugan, 26 and storekeeper S Thanagaraj, 26. 

Yoges told the court that her clients were aggrieved by the bad conditions of Sungai Buloh Prison, and they were kept in dark cells and not provided with a bed and pillow. 

Azman, however, ruled that the lawyers should raise the matter during the mention date on Dec 23.

Police had detained 12 men including two DAP state assemblypersons under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 over their alleged link with the LTTE. 

They were slapped with multiple charges under Section 130 of Penal Code on Oct 29 and Oct 31. 

Determining whether police committed offence

In the three-hour in camera proceeding today, the judge set Nov 8 to decide whether it was necessary for her to instruct the Magistrates' Court to examine the way the police had probed Subramaniam and Kalaimughilan.

"We were saying there was an offence during the investigation. But she needs to see whether there is an offence, so she had an informal hearing (just now) to see if there is an offence," Yoges told Malaysiakini

"She set Nov 8 to decide if there was an offence (committed by the police) . If there was an offence, then she will call for an examination (by the Magistrate's Court)," she added. 

An examination can be conducted under Section 133 of the Criminal Procedure Code when the magistrate takes cognisance of an offence of a complaint. 

According to her, Kalaimughilan complained that he had been ill-treated and coerced by the police into giving a statement when he was not in the right frame of mind, particularly when he had enough of the poor conditions in prison.

"Right after he was charged yesterday, the police still recorded a statement from him. This is wrong," she said. 

Meanwhile, Selvam said his client Subramaniam was induced, compelled and forced to give a statement prepared by the police. 

"Towards the end, the police were so frustrated with him that they threw the paper on his face (sic)," he said.  - Malaysiakini, 1/11/2019




Home Ministry denies abuse and torture of Sosma detainees
Nation
Saturday, 02 Nov 2019 3:43 PM MYT



Muhyiddin speaking to the media after the conclusion of nominations of candidates for the Tanjung Piai by-election on Saturday.

PONTIAN (Bernama): The Home Ministry on Saturday (Nov 2) denied allegations that five of the 12 men under arrest in connection with the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), were been abused and tortured throughout their detention.

Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said he had already checked the allegations with Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador and the officers involved, and these checks indicated that the allegations were untrue.

Nevertheless, he said that because the allegations made were serious, he had instructed the IGP to undertake a detailed investigation into the matter.

The five detainees were also entitled to lodge a police report on the matter, Muhyiddin told the media Saturday, upon the conclusion of nominations of candidates for the by-election for the Tanjung Piai parliamentary seat here.

He was commenting on a report by a portal alleging the abuse and torture of five of the 12 men who were detained recently on charges of supporting the terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), also known as the Tamil Tigers.

"When they were brought before the judge in court and such...they did not complain that they were beaten...", the minister said, adding that until yesterday, there was no indication of abuse in reports he had received on the matter. - Bernama - Star, 2/11/2019



IGP: Allegations of police misconduct against Sosma detainees baseless and irresponsible

Nation
Saturday, 02 Nov 2019 7:17 PM MYT




IGP Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador during the press conference. NORAFIFI EHSAN / The Star.

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): Allegations of police misconduct against individuals detained on suspicion of involvement in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are baseless and irresponsible, says Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador (pic).

The Inspector-General of Police has urged anyone who made such allegations to produce their evidence including the closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera footage of the alleged misconduct to the court.

"I strongly deny all the public allegations of unlawful act or misconduct by our police officers against any of the LTTE detainees made by their lawyers and certain politicians.

"I stand firm on the explanation given by my officers that the allegations are completely baseless and very irresponsible," he said in a statement to Bernama here Saturday (Nov 2).


Yesterday, several news portals reported that five out of the 12 individuals detained under the Security Offences (Special Measure) Act (Sosma) 2012 were allegedly abused and tortured during detention.

Earlier Saturday, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin denied the allegations, saying that he had already checked on the allegations with Abdul Hamid and officers involved, and found that the allegations were untrue.

Abdul Hamid said what needs to be understood was that the allegations of police misconduct were made after the in-camera session before the judge in chambers.

"All quarters should respect the legal process and not make baseless allegations in public," he said, adding that he had also referred the matter to the Attorney General and now awaiting instruction for further action. - Bernama - Star, 2/11/2019



1 comment:

Unknown said...

There is a pattern to all these speedy denials. Religion seems to factor importantly. This reminds me of the former judge who had in a case heard by him ruled that "a Muslim will not tell lies".