Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Are The Malaysian Police Lockups Safe Or Haunted?

Are Malaysian police lockups safe?

It depends to whom you direct the question.

If you ask the average Malaysian, he would likely say: '"I don't think so"

If you ask the authorities they would say: "Yes, they are. We say it"

So, it all depends....

But many apparently healthy detainees have died mysteriously while in police custody.

In the past two weeks there had been four deaths in detention!

The latest one involved a Japanese who apparently hanged himself in the lockup.

What is also mysterious about the Japanese detainee is that there seems to be no record of his entry into the country 

The same happened in the case of the murdered Mongolian beauty whose ghost seems to still haunt the corridors of power

In total, over a thousand had died between 2003-2007 according to a United Nations Working Group report although Suaram noted the number of deaths in detention at over two hundred between 2000-2012.

This seems like an unusual phenomenon. especially when many of the detainees were said be be in healthy condition when first held, but died subsequently in detention.

The authorities' usual response when such a death occurred was to deny that there had been any foul play and to claim that the death had been caused by a heart attack or some other health issue of the detainee.

In only a few cases had anyone been charged and even then that happened only after the families of the dead detainees had cried foul and fought fiercely for those responsible to be brought to book.

What is the government doing to allay the people's suspicion that there may be more to the deaths in detention than meets the eyes?

Anyone, including a police officer, who is responsible for unlawfully causing the death of another, must be brought to book and charged in court.

Anything less is to sanction lawlessness and extra judicial killings and this is never good for any government.

But if the authorities' claim that the deaths in detention were not caused by any foul play is true, then the police lockups must be very stressful or haunted places, especially for the Indian detainees.

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