Monday, June 12, 2017

CCTVs with no recording, and no police officers monitoring CCTVS - Death in Custody?

Too many allegations of torture and many deaths in custody - but Malaysian government is still not doing what is needed. CCTV (with recording capacity) is something that can really improve situation - it will assure us that the police are carrying out their duties in accordance with the law - that they are not 'torturing' people in police custody. In many countries, for example Hong Kong, the accused and/or their lawyer can get a copy of the CD showing the movement of the accused frfom point of arrest, which will show that all rights have been respected...all laws and Standard Operating Procedures(SOP) have been followed by the police and other enforcement authorities...
 
 

In a detah in custody case that I was involved in about 10 years ago, there was a CCTV but it was not working...anyway, that CCTV did not have any recording capacity...which makes it useless - because there is no recordings that investigators or even the courts can view to determine what exactly happened...We have been calling for CCTVs with recording capacity for a long time....

Now again, police says that CCTVs were 'dummies' with no recording capacity - and, worse still, there was no police officer monitoring these CCTVs??

The CCTV cameras installed at the Bandar Baru Klang police station were dummies intended to deter thieving officers serving in the station, said Asst Supt Harun Abu Bakar......He was responding to questions from hearing chairman Datuk Yaacob Md Sam, who had asked what was the purpose of having CCTV cameras in the station when they could only display but not record footage....Asked on whether the room which displayed the footage was monitored, Harun said he did not have sufficient manpower in his station and felt that they had more pressing matters to attend to.
Below a statement by MP Kasthuri Patto - more MPs should be issuing public statements on important issues in Malaysia...

Media statement by Democratic Action Party Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan and Publicity Secretary of Wanita DAP Kasthuri Patto on Wednesday 7 June 2017 in Batu Kawan, Penang. 

MP Kasthuri Patto

Putrajaya should be more resolute and determined in ensuring that all police and immigration lockups and interrogation rooms are fitted with working CCTVs to prevent rouge police officers from taking laws into their own hands and protecting honest, dedicated and accountable officers in carrying out their duties.

In 2013, a pledge was made by the former Bukit Aman Management Director Datuk Mortadza Nazarene that a committee would be set up to ensure the safety of all lock-up inmates in lieu of abuses and deaths in custody. Also 5 police lock-ups in the Jinjang Police Station, Shah Alam Police Station, Indera Mahkota Kuantan Police Station, Bayan Baru Police Station and also the Kota Kinabalu Police Station will be equipped with CCTV cameras, intercom systems, Black Marias, lawyers room, a court room, a control room, an identification parade room, a transit room and a room for meals. He also said that the police will cooperate with the Ministry of Health to conduct medical checks of detainees before being sent to the lockup and a commitment that medical doctor be brought in to inspect the detainees at least once a week.

Have all these pledges made in 2013 been fulfilled and adhered to? Are doctors ferried in into lockups, even in rural areas and interior areas like Sabah and Sarawak to render medical treatment to unwell detainees? Are detainees given a full medical checkup in the initial stages of the detention in lock-ups? If the detainee is unwell, is he given immediate medical treatment or will he be taken to a clinic or hospital after being taken to court first?

Most importantly, who monitors these pledges to ensure that they are followed through? Who is responsible when sick inmates are not given speedy and necessary treatment? Who is responsible when rogue officers take matters into their own hands and bash up inmates in lock-ups, detention centres and prisons in the name of extracting information from them? Is it the duty of the Investigation Officer or any police officer to conduct interrogations or is it the duty of the prosecutor to do that? What is the SOP followed in exerting force to derive information?

In 2016, PDRM Management Director Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah said that out of 704 lockups in the country, 58 will be fitted with (Self-Monitoring Analytics Reporting Technology) SMART CCTVs and will be then known as Smart Lockups. 58 CCTVs costing RM 3.5 million saw the first installation in the Jinjang Centralised Lockup Centre as a pilot project, and subsequent installations in all lock-ups thereafter. This May, Bernama reported that all 58 lockups have been installed with the SMART CCTVs.

With only 8% of police lockups fitted with the SMART CCTVs, what then is the status of the installation of the balance 646 CCTVs in lockups nationwide? How much longer is Putrajaya going to drag its feet to ensure that lockups in the country are equipped with these CCTVs?

It is evident that there has been a violation of these pledges and promises, and Putrajaya has committed a colossal violation of human rights by their severe lack of conscience, accountability and commitment in ensuring that miscreant officers don’t get away when they take laws into their own hands. Prime Minister Najib must ensure that ministries and agencies under his administration prove to Malaysians alike that officers who abuse their positions by harming and abusing inmates be suspended, and tried in court like any other person who is subject to the laws of the land.

Regrettably, we are faced with 6 deaths in police custody under 6 months this year alone and none have been accountable for these deaths.

Announcements have been made by the former and current PDRM Director of Management, the Inspector General of Police, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and not forgetting a launch and a pompous announcement by the Prime Minister Najib Razak on the installation of 58 CCTVs in lock-ups nationwide and yet the numbers of deaths in custody are increasing by the month.

The Home Ministry, the IGP and police personnel must understand that the installation of the SMART CCTVs in police lockups will ensure competency, accountability and transparency to protect police officers and also to ensure that law is not taken into anyone's hands.

Putrajaya should be more resolute and determined in ensuring that all police and immigration lockups and interrogation rooms are fitted with working CCTVs to prevent rouge police officers from taking laws into their own hands and protecting honest, dedicated and accountable officers in carrying out their duties.


Kasthuri Patto
Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan
Democratic Action Party, Malaysia. 



uesday, 6 June 2017 | MYT 4:43 PM

CCTV cameras were dummies, police station chief tells EAIC hearing

PETALING JAYA: The CCTV cameras installed at the Bandar Baru Klang police station were dummies intended to deter thieving officers serving in the station, said Asst Supt Harun Abu Bakar.

The officer in charge of the police station (OCS) said this during the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) hearing to investigate the death of  44-year-old S. Balamurugan who died in custody in the station lock-up.

He was responding to questions from hearing chairman Datuk Yaacob Md Sam, who had asked what was the purpose of having CCTV cameras in the station when they could only display but not record footage.

Harun explained that the four cameras installed around the station were intended to "warn officers that they were being watched".

"The previous OCS installed a CCTV system as a measure to scare the officers as there were a few who were stealing things. He installed it with his own initiative and even took a few CCTV cameras from the gambling dens they raided here," said Harun, who took over as station chief in January.

He added that the system was effective as only a few officers knew that the cameras in the station could not record footage.

Asked on whether the room which displayed the footage was monitored, Harun said he did not have sufficient manpower in his station and felt that they had more pressing matters to attend to.

"I feel the CCTV system is important and needs to be monitored but we don't have enough people," he said.

Balamurugan died in custody on Feb 8 after he was arrested with two other men and brought to the Bandar Baru Klang station for questioning.

Fellow detainees Ang Kian Kok and K. Tamilarasan had both said they along with Balamurugan were beaten up by an officer named Moganes at the station and their  description of the beatings tallied with post-mortem findings on Balamurugan's body.

The lack of a functioning CCTV camera system in the station has made it difficult for the investigations to take place. - Star, 6/6/2017

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/06/06/cctv-cameras-were-dummies-police-station-chief-tells-eaic-hearing/#YekmrYyrFeRdgQsH.99

Sunday, June 11, 2017

MADPET DISAPPOINTED WITH THE COURT OF APPEAL DECISION TO SENTENCE 9 TO DEATH OVERTURNING HIGH COURT’S LIFE IMPRISONMENT SENTENCE IN THE LAHAD DATU WAGING WAR CASE



Media Statement – 11/6/2017

MADPET DISAPPOINTED WITH THE COURT OF APPEAL DECISION TO SENTENCE 9 TO DEATH OVERTURNING HIGH COURT’S LIFE IMPRISONMENT SENTENCE IN THE LAHAD DATU WAGING WAR CASE

- Individual’s sentence must be based on evidence of what they actually did in joint crimes -

MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) is disappointed that the Court of Appeal chose to sentence 9 Filipino men for waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in relation to the Lahad Datu intrusion four years ago. 

This case is in connection with what happened in February-March 2013, when a group, comprising over a hundred people, who were allegedly followers of self-proclaimed Sultan of Sulu, Jamalul Kiram III entered Sabah allegedly on a mission to ‘reclaim’ part of Borneo as their ancestral land. The Lahad Datu situation reportedly saw a total of 68 deaths – 56 from the Sulu sultanate, nine from the Malaysian authorities and six civilians.(Astro Awani, 30/12/2013)

Justice Mohd Zawawi Salleh, who chaired the three-member panel of the Court of Appeal, overturned the natural life sentence meted out by the Kota Kinabalu High Court on July 26 2016 on these 9 men, and sentenced them to death. The other members of the panel of the Court of Appeal were Justices Abdul Rahman Sebli and Kamardin Hashim.(Star, 9/2/2017).

The nine men are Julham Rashid, 70; Virgilio Nemar Patulada @ Mohammad Alam Patulada, 53; Salib Akhmad Emali, 64; Tani Lahad Dahi, 64; Basad Manuel, 42, who is the son of the late self-proclaimed Sultan Sulu Jamalul Kiram, Datu Amirbahar Hushin Kiram, 54; Atik Hussin Abu Bakar, 46; Al Wazir Osman @ Abdul, 62; and Ismail Yasin, 77.

It must be noted that in 2016, the trial judge, Judge Stephen Chung, at the Kota Kinabalu High Court, after hearing the case, having the benefit of hearing the witnesses and considering the evidence elected to not sentence the 9 to death, but to life imprisonment.

‘…In his judgment, Chung said there was no evidence that the accused were directly involved in the skirmishes that occurred during the intrusion, nor was there proof that they had killed any member of the security force in cold blood or injured anybody. He noted that the key persons in the intrusion, such as Datu Agbimuddin Kiram and 'General Musa' were not brought to justice. "It is indeed an odious task to pass the appropriate sentence for the accused convicted under Section 121 of the Penal Code. "The offence had badly affected the lives of the residents of Kampung Tanduo and those who resided in the nearby villages, as well as the families of the deceased security personnel," he said…’(Malaysian Digest/Bernama 26/7/2016). The said 9 persons were as such sentenced not to death, but to life imprisonment by the High Court.

Of note also, is the fact that 6 or more of these persons elected to plead guilty after the High Court asked 19 of the 30 persons charged to enter their defence after prosecution managed to establish a prima facie case. The plea of guilt is generally taken as a mitigating factor when it comes to sentencing. 

It was also reported that the lawyer representing these accused persons that pleaded guilty also ‘told the court that his clients had been promised jobs and identity cards by their leader, General Musa, the chief of staff of Datu Agbimuddin Kiram who was a brother of the self-styled Sulu Sultan.’ (Star, 24/2/2016). It was also reported that ‘although they admitted to being members of a terror group known as the Royal Sulu Force (RSF), they were not involved in its militant activities. He said this was consistent with their statements recorded individually before a Sessions Court judge in Lahad Datu shortly after their arrests sometime in March 2013…’

It must be pointed out that even though they may all be convicted of the same offence, when it comes to sentencing, the court is duty bound to consider the evidence adduced against each and every individual in determining the appropriate sentence for each of them. 

As such, the observation of the High Court that there was ‘no evidence that the accused were directly involved in the skirmishes that occurred during the intrusion, nor was there proof that they had killed any member of the security force in cold blood or injured anybody’ is most relevant.

The atrocity of the incident itself, which involved over 100 persons, should never be sufficient to justify the imposition of an unjust sentence, especially the death penalty, on the few individuals that were caught, charged, tried and convicted.  

Further, it must be reiterated that the death penalty has been shown to have no deterrent value on crimes, and vice versa, there has been no proof showing that the death penalty does in fact deters crime. 

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman, the new de facto Law Minister, during the Parliamentary session on 2/11/2016 clarified that Malaysia was not just looking at the mandatory death penalty, but all death penalty. They were considering possibly replacing the death penalty with life imprisonment.(The Sun Daily, 3/11/2016). This fact also makes this recent decision of the Court of Appeal to impose the death penalty, coupled with the fact that many in Malaysia are for the abolition of the death penalty.

As such, MADPET calls that death sentence imposed on this 9 persons be commuted to imprisonment.

MADPET reiterates its call for the abolition of the death penalty, and that there be an immediate  moratorium on all executions pending abolition.

Charles Hector
For and on behalf of MADPET



Friday, 9 June 2017

Filipinos sentenced to death over Lahad Datu intrusion


Going down: The Filipinos being led away after sentencing in Kota Kinabalu. — Bernama
Going down: The Filipinos being led away after sentencing in Kota Kinabalu. — Bernama


PUTRAJAYA: Nine Filipino men have been sentenced to death by the Court of Appeal for waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in relation to the Lahad Datu intrusion four years ago.

Justice Mohd Zawawi Salleh, who chaired the three-member panel, overturned the natural life sentence meted out by the Kota Kinabalu High Court on July 26 last year.

He said the case had an element of conspiracy, and that the respondents were part of the conspiracy hatched across the border to wage war against the Government and the King with intent to weaken the country from within to reclaim Sabah.

“The route from the Philippines to Sabah, the landing site at Kampung Tanduo and the different targets at Sabah were all pre-determined.

“This was an attack from a foreign enemy which is unprecedented in Malaysian history,” the judge remarked.

Justice Mohd Zawawi said the conspiracy behind the attack was as deep and large as it was vicious, and the execution was ruthless.

“The sentence imposed must reflect the condemnation of Malaysians against such a crime. We are firmly of the view that this is a fit and proper case to impose the death penalty against the respondents,” he added in delivering the unanimous decision.

The other judges on the panel were Justices Abdul Rahman Sebli and Kamardin Hashim.

The nine men are Julham Rashid, 70; Virgilio Nemar Patulada @ Mohammad Alam Patulada, 53; Salib Akhmad Emali, 64; Tani Lahad Dahi, 64; Basad Manuel, 42, who is the son of the late self-proclaimed Sultan Sulu Jamalul Kiram, Datu Amirbahar Hushin Kiram, 54; Atik Hussin Abu Bakar, 46; Al Wazir Osman @ Abdul, 62; and Ismail Yasin, 77.

Clad in green prison garb and each escorted by two prison guards, the Filipinos showed no emotion after the verdict was delivered.

However, the panel dismissed the prosecution’s appeal against 14 men charged with waging war against the King and for terrorism-related offences.

In affirming the acquittal, Justice Mohd Zawawi said the panel was satisfied that the trial judge was right in holding that no case had been proven against the one Malaysian and 13 Filipinos.

He said the prosecution's case against them was predicated purely on circumstantial evidence which did not point irresistibly to the fact that they were involved in the offences with which they were charged.

However, Justice Mohd Zawawi allowed the application by Deputy Head of the Appellate and Trial Division Awang Armadajaya Awang Mahmud for the 14 to be remanded pending filing of appeal. - Star, 9/6/2017

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/06/09/nine-get-the-gallows-for-waging-war-filipinos-sentenced-to-death-over-lahad-datu-intrusion/#YF03ZTGemFbksjRe.99
 
 
Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Six plead guilty to being part of terror group

KOTA KINABALU: Six Filipinos who took part in the intrusion of Lahad Datu three years ago after being promised jobs and identity cards, pleaded guilty to being members of a terror group at the High Court here.

The men, who were facing various charges for their involvement in the intrusion of Kampung Tanduo, Lahad Datu in 2013, changed their plea and admitted to being members of a terror group under Section 130KA of the Penal Code, yesterday.

They are Atik Hussin Abu Bakar, Basad Manuel, Ismail Yasin, Virgilio Nemar Patuluda @ Mohammad, Lin Mad Salleh and Holland Kalbi. Atik, Basad, Ismail and Virgilio are also facing charges under Section 121 of the Penal Code for waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Two other Filipino nationals and three Malaysians who are facing similar charges in connection with the intrusion are expected to change their pleas as well before Justice Stephen Chung today.

Two other Filipinos who were supposed to change their pleas, however changed their minds and claimed trial on the charge of being members of a terror group.

Counsel Datuk N. Sivananthan, who represented the accused, told the court that his clients had been promised jobs and identity cards by their leader, General Musa, the chief of staff of Datu Agbimuddin Kiram who was a brother of the self-styled Sulu Sultan.

In seeking a lenient sentence for his clients, he told Justice Chung that although they admitted to being members of a terror group known as the Royal Sulu Force (RSF), they were not involved in its militant activities.

He said this was consistent with their statements recorded individually before a Sessions Court judge in Lahad Datu shortly after their arrests sometime in March 2013.

Sivananthan noted that the sentence for those convicted under this section of the Penal Code was from one day in jail to life imprisonment.

He said the court should take into account the extent of the accused’s involvement in the group’s militant activities before meting out the sentence.

Senior Federal Counsel Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar urged the court to impose a maximum penalty, saying a lenient sentence would undermine and compromise Malaysia’s sovereignty.

He said the accused had admitted to being members of a terror group, adding that terrorism had become a global threat.

Noting that the trial involved the first case of an intrusion by a group of foreigners into Malaysia, Dusuki said the court decisions would be a benchmark and serve as a precedent for subsequent cases.

Justice Chung said he would read out the sentences for the accused at the end of the trial which was held at the State Prison in Kepayan near here under tight security.

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/02/24/six-plead-guilty-to-being-part-of-terror-group-filipinos-involved-in-lahad-datu-intrusion-change-ple/#FVo5GcDv2oGI452W.99

Nine Filipinos Sentenced To Life Over Lahad Datu Intrusion

Pic: AwaniPic: AwaniKOTA KINABALU: Nine of the accused in the Lahad Datu intrusion case who were found guilty of waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong escaped the gallows when they were sentenced to life imprisonment by the High Court here today.

Judge Stephen Chung meted out the sentence on Filipinos Atik Hussin Abu Bakar, 45; Basad H. Manuel, 41; Ismail Yasin, 76; Virgilio Nemar Patulada alias Mohammad Alam Patulada, 52; Salib Akhmad Emali, 63; Al Wazir Osman, 61; Tani Lahaddahi, 63; Julham Rashid, 69; and Datu Amir Bahar Hushin Kiram, 53.

The capital punishment for the offence under Section 121 of the Penal Code was death.

In his judgment, Chung said there was no evidence that the accused were directly involved in the skirmishes that occurred during the intrusion, nor was there proof that they had killed any member of the security force in cold blood or injured anybody.

He noted that the key persons in the intrusion, such as Datu Agbimuddin Kiram and 'General Musa' were not brought to justice.

"It is indeed an odious task to pass the appropriate sentence for the accused convicted under Section 121 of the Penal Code.

"The offence had badly affected the lives of the residents of Kampung Tanduo and those who resided in the nearby villages, as well as the families of the deceased security personnel," he said.

Chung also sentenced Salib Akhmad, Al Wazir, Tani, Julham and Datu Amir Bahar to 18 years' jail each on a second charge of being members of a terrorist group, while the other four – Atik Hussin, Basad, Ismail and Virgilio – who pleaded guilty to the same offence each received 13 years imprisonment.

They were ordered to serve the jail sentences concurrently from their date of arrest.

Also convicted of being members of a terrorist group were Timhar Hadil, 39 and a local, Abd Hadi Mawan, 52, and they were sentenced to 15 years' jail each to be served from the date of their arrest.
Chung said he considered the guilty plea of Filipinos Lin Mad Salleh, 50; Holland Kalbi, 50; and Aiman Radie, 20 for the same offence and sentenced them to 13 years' jail each, to be served from the date of their arrest.

The offence of being a member of a terrorist group is framed under Section 130KA of the Penal Code which provides an imprisonment for life upon conviction.

Two other locals in the case who pleaded guilty to amended charges were each sentenced to 15 years imprisonment from the date of their arrest.

One of them, Pabblo Alie, 66 had pleaded guilty to soliciting property for the benefit of a terrorist group or for the commission of a terrorist act, an offence under Section 130G (c) of the Penal Code, which carries the maximum 30-year imprisonment upon conviction.

The other, Mohammad Ali Ahmad, 41 had also pleaded guilty to soliciting or giving support to a terrorist group, an offence under Section 130J (1) (a) of the Penal Code, which also carries the maximum 30-year imprisonment upon conviction.


See also Astro Awani report on 26/7/2016 -Nine Filipinos sentenced to life over Lahad Datu intrusion


Lahad Datu invasion: A painful memory of 2013

KUALA LUMPUR: On Feb 11, 2013, the nation was rocked by news that broke late into the night about the eastern shores of Sabah being invaded by a group of armed men.

The group, comprising over a hundred people, was quickly identified to be followers of self-proclaimed Sultan of Sulu, Jamalul Kiram III. They were led by Jamalul's brother Agbimuddin Kiram.

Hailing from Pulau Simunul of Tawi-Tawi in the southern Philippines, the group first entered Malaysian waters by boat on Feb 9 and gathered in stages at Felda Sahabat 17 in Kampung Tanduo, Lahad Datu, as a means of ‘reclaiming’ part of Borneo as their ancestral land. This forced some eighty locals to flee from 15 homes.

Lahad Datu 3

Upon being discovered by fishermen, the Filipino rebels broke into smaller groups and entered several locations in the village, including Kampung Sungai Bakau.

On Feb 14, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the Malaysian government would negotiate with the group before ousting them from the area. Then Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said negotiations with the group were in progress to find the best solution without bloodshed.

Lahad Datu 4

Two days later, then Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein made a statement that played down the situation; the group merely comprised ‘malnourished’ and elderly men in sarongs and slippers, mostly unarmed, he said.
The tussle between Malaysia and the Philippines over Sabah had been a long-standing one. The Suluks wanted Sabah to be returned to them, claiming it was seized by the British from their government. But Malaysia had always rejected the Philippine's territorial claim to Sabah as it deemed that Sabah residents had exercised their right to self-determination when they voted to join the Malaysian federation in 1963.

Lahad Datu 5

The Sulu sultanate also lost their rights in the Madrid protocol of 1885 when their predecessors Spain relinquished all their claims to Sabah, giving all control to Malaysia’s predecessors, the British.

However, it was subsequently learnt that the Malaysian Embassy in the Philippines were issuing cheques for RM5,300 to the legal counsel of the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu in keeping with the terms of an 1887 agreement. While Malaysia considered it as annual cession payment for the disputed state, the sultan’s descendants considered it as “rent”.

Many then called for the Malaysian government to reduce or stop the cession payment altogether, including former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and opposition lawyer Karpal Singh.


The first shootout between Malaysian security forces and the small group of Filipino rebels broke out on March 1 when the latter tried to break a police blockade in Kampung Tanduo. Najib confirmed that the event had left two police commandos dead while Sabah police commissioner, Datuk Hamza Taib, confirmed that 12 of Kiram’s followers were killed.

At this juncture, the Philippines government seemed to totally leave the fate of the royal Sulu army in the hands of the Malaysian security forces.

Lahad Datu 1.5

In the early hours of March 3, a group of Filipino gunmen, believed to be less than 10, ambushed the police in a village in Semporna, Sabah. The media reported that six Malaysian police officers and seven assailants were killed. It was also reported that four of the policemen had their bodies mutilated, with one beheaded.

On March 5, three F-18 and five Hawk aircraft filled the Kampung Tanduo skies in an airstrike against the Filipino rebels at dawn in an effort to flush them out. Thirteen of the Sulu gunmen were killed in the process. The deaths were confirmed by then Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.


Codenamed Ops Daulat, the ‘mopping up’ stage also saw ground troops going door-to-door to sniff out the intruders. However, none were caught.

Kampung Tanduo was finally secured by Malaysian forces on March 11, with the bodies of 22 Sulu gunmen recovered. Despite the deaths, the Kiram family insisted that its army stay put in Sabah and not surrender.

Between March 20 and April 1, 15 Filipino nationals were charged in court over the incursion – eight of them in the Tawau High Court while the rest in the Lahad Datu Magistrate’s Court.

Lahad Datu 2

A Malaysian Special Branch officer, Corporal Hassa Ali Basari, was also charged and convicted for intentionally refraining from disclosing information on terrorist acts by the Sulu gunmen in Lahad Datu.

Ops Daulat ended on June 29 when it was replaced by the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM). The body is now responsible for security arrangements in the area, covering all operations from northern Kudat to south-eastern Tawau. This is to ensure that Sabah’s eastern sea borders remain safe. A 24-hour ESSCOM operations room was also announced on Aug 12.

The Lahad Datu standoff reportedly saw a total of 68 deaths – 56 from the Sulu sultanate, nine from the Malaysian authorities and six civilians.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

2 men executed on 24/5/2017 - Media Statement by Kasthuri Patto

Media statement by Democratic Action Party Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan and member of the Parliamentarians for Global Action Kasthuri Patto on Wednesday, 24 March 2017 in Penang.

Highly immoral, inhumane and a gross misconduct on the part of the Najib administration under the Barisan Nasional government to continue with executions on prisoners on death row when the Attorney General has not presented recommendations to the Cabinet to amend laws on the mandatory death penalty.

In the wee hours of this morning, 24 May 2017, 2 men had been executed at Sungai Buloh Prison – a Malaysian Chinese and Yong Kar Mun, 48 who was sentenced to death in 2009 for armed robbery.

The double execution this morning comes as a grave shock to Members of Parliament, the Malaysian Bar, Amnesty International, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) and other human rights bodies, but most importantly, the unconsolable grief of the 2 families who had not been notified on the exact date and time of the secretive nature of the executions of these two men.

Time and time again, lawmakers have been questioning the government in the Malaysian Parliament on the status of the abolition of the death penalty in Malaysia and stressing on an immediate moratorium on the death penalty pending possible amendments to laws that warrant the death sentence as a method of punishment and revenge.

On 5th September 2016 a Special Task force had been formed on the abolition of the death penalty attended by MP for Ipoh Barat M. Kulasegaran, SUHAKAM, Amnesty International, The Attorney General's Chambers, academicians, the Malaysian Bar Council, Home Ministry and also the National Security Council. On 1st March this year, the Cabinet was presented with the findings of a research by Roger Hood and International Centre for Law and Legal Studies (I-CeLLS) by the Attorney General himself whereby the Cabinet had decided and agreed that provisional amendments to Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 by including that discretionary powers be given to courts to mete out the punishment befitting the crime.

In the last Parliament sitting in April, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Azalina Othman cemented the fact that a memorandum from the Cabinet together with the proposed amendments to the DDA 1952 will be brought again to the Cabinet for further consideration. Dato Azalina also stressed that the mandatory death penalty has proven that it is NOT a deterrent to crime.

The government has committed countless times over the years, to amend provisions in the law to grant discretionary powers to the courts on drug related offences that carry the mandatory death penalty and yet appears apprehensive in committing to see it through. Why then the chest thump on transforming Malaysia into a nation that upholds and respects human rights when it is not serious on imposing a moratorium on all death row cases, across the board until discussions, meetings and even amendments are made?

While the Attorney General prepares the documents on the amendments of the law on the mandatory death penalty, executions are still going on in Malaysian prisons and in this year alone, Malaysia executed 4 people in 5 months!

The Najib administration has violated international human rights standards and laws in its persistent lack of transparency in carrying out executions.

It appears that the Malaysian government is more keen on executing prisoners than making just, reformist, progressive, positive changes in the law to uphold, promote, protect and defend human rights.

Until and unless Prime Minister Najib Razak pull the brakes and halt ALL executions and impose a moratorium until law reforms have been made to safeguard the sanctity and the spirit of the right to life and human rights in Malaysia, vision TN50 will be merely a hollow meaningless effort to transform Malaysia into a developed, progressive nation.

I call upon the Attorney General, the Prime Minister Najib Razak and the PM's Department to present the findings on the research to abolish the death penalty in the next Cabinet meeting and in the same vein to propose and to impose a moratorium on ALL death row prisoners until the matter is brought to Parliament, debated and passed.

Highly immoral, inhumane and a gross misconduct on the part of the Najib administration under the Barisan Nasional government to continue with executions on prisoners on death row when the Attorney General has not presented recommendations to the Cabinet to amend laws on the mandatory death penalty.


Kasthuri Patto
Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan
Publicity Secretary of Wanita DAP
Member of the Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) for the Abolition of the Death Penalty
Democratic Action Party

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi.. allegedly beaten by the assistant warden of the religious school..dies?


Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi died at 2.06pm 26/4/2017(Friday) at Hospital Sultan Ismail in Johor Bahru.......Thaqif was admitted to Sultan Ismail Hospital (HSI) on Wednesday for injuries to his legs after he was allegedly beaten by the assistant warden of the religious school he was attending....On Friday, HSI doctors amputated his legs in a bid to prevent infection...



PRESS RELEASE

It is Time to Abolish Corporal Punishment

The Malaysian Bar is deeply saddened by the death of 11-year-old Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi.  We are appalled by the circumstances that led to his tragic death.  

Questions have now been raised about the proper supervision and oversight of tahfiz schools in general, given that they fall outside the scope of the Ministry of Education.  The issue of employment of suitable staff who are adequately qualified and trained, and have the appropriate temperament to work with children, also needs to be addressed.
  
The tragic and untimely demise of Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi leads to the question of whether it is time to abolish all forms of corporal punishment.  It is, at the very least, a cruel and inhumane punishment and, in this young boy’s case, very likely constituted excruciating pain and even torture.  

It should be noted that the amendments to the Child Act 2001, brought into force on 1 January 2017, have done away with the offence of caning of children by the civil courts.  It is time to extend this abolition to other courts, schools and even private homes, as caning can so easily be — and has indeed been — abused.  The death of even one child as a result of corporal punishment is one too many.

The Malaysian Bar extends its deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi.

George Varughese
President
Malaysian Bar 

1 May 2017
Source: Malaysian Bar Website 


 

Abused tahfiz student Thaqif dies

Khairil Ashraf
 | April 26, 2017
His aunt says it may have been due to his unstable heart condition.


thaqif

PETALING JAYA: The 11-year-old who slipped into a coma after undergoing surgery to amputate both his legs has died.

Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi died at 2.06pm at Hospital Sultan Ismail in Johor Bahru.

“He may have died due to his unstable heart condition,” Thaqif’s aunt Dzuraidah Ahmad told FMT when contacted.

Thaqif was admitted to Sultan Ismail Hospital (HSI) on Wednesday for injuries to his legs after he was allegedly beaten by the assistant warden of the religious school he was attending.

On Friday, HSI doctors amputated his legs in a bid to prevent infection to tissues and blood cells in his body. The following day, though, he lapsed into a coma.

Doctors later found that his right hand had turned black due to a bacterial infection and blood clots had started to form on his left shoulder. They informed his family that his arm had also turned necrotic.

Thaqif had been due for further surgery to amputate his right arm this morning. However, it was postponed as the condition of his heart was not stable.

The assistant warden was arrested at his home in Felda Lok Heng Barat, Kota Tinggi last Saturday, following a police report lodged on April 18 by Thaqif’s mother.

His remand order was due to expire today, but it was extended for another three days until Saturday to facilitate the probe into the case.

Dzuraidah previously told The Star that Thaqif had complained to his mother about the beatings and also wrote in his diary about how the abuse had started last month.

“Dear Allah, please open my parents’ hearts to allow me to transfer to another school because I cannot stand it anymore. Please, Allah, make my wishes come true,” the daily quoted from one of Thaqif’s diary entries, as related by his aunt. - FMT News, 26/4/2017

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

110 lock up deaths from 2010 until 2016 - only 1 caused by police, says Minister Zahid?

Zahid: Only one custodial death due to injuries by police

In total there were 110 lock up deaths from 2010 until 2016, most of them due to health issues
KUALA LUMPUR: Only one detainee had died in police lock up due to injuries sustained from the police, revealed Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in a written reply to Gobind Singh Deo (Puchong-DAP) today.

“For the period from the year 2010 to 2016, only one detainee died in police lock up due to injuries sustained from police personnel. That was in the year 2013,” said Zahid.

“The highest number of lock up deaths was 20 in the year 2013. Of the 20, 15 died due to various infections to the liver, throat, lung, intestines and ulcers.”

The infection cases also contributed to the majority of the deaths in lock ups – up to 84 cases out 110 deaths.

In total there were 110 lock up deaths from 2010 until 2016, revealed Zahid who is also the deputy prime minister.

The lowest number of deaths were recorded in 2010 with nine deaths.

Gobind had asked for the number of deaths in police lock ups since 2010. - Berita Daily, 28 March 2017

SUHAKAM - custodial deaths in prison had increased to 269 in 2016, compared with 252 in 2015?

Suhakam: Families of dead detainees can ask for inquest

Ho Kit Yen
 | April 4, 2017
Inquests should be held if a detainee dies under suspicious circumstances, says Suhakam commissioner.
Mah-Weng-Kwai-jail

KUALA LUMPUR: Family members of detainees who die while in custody can seek an inquest to determine their cause of death.

Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) Mah Weng Kwai said this was especially so in cases where custodial deaths occurred under suspicious circumstances.

“They can most certainly request (for an inquest) when there are some suspicions on how the person died and no action was taken over those allegedly responsible,” he said.

Mah was responding to questions on whether family members of detainees should seek inquests to determine the cause of death.

His remarks come in the wake of the announcement in Parliament yesterday by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that over 280 custodial deaths were recorded from 2000 to 2016.

However, in Suhakam’s annual report released earlier today, the commission stated that custodial deaths in prison had increased to 269 in 2016, compared with 252 in 2015.

Suhakam said 35 deaths were recorded in immigration centres last year, compared with 82 in 2015.
 No information was available on deaths in police lock-ups in 2016, but there were 12 reported deaths in 2015. 

Mah, who is a former Court of Appeal judge, said it was up to the magistrate to decide if there was sufficient evidence on suspected deaths for an inquiry to be held.

“The magistrate, sitting as a coroner, needs to exercise his discretion if he wants to start an inquest,” he said.

Mah added that if the coroner could make a ruling and name the suspects involved in a detainee’s death in his verdict, the alleged assaulters could be prosecuted.

There have been three cases of custodial deaths reported since January.

On Jan 18, Soh Kai Chiok was found dead at the Bera police station.

On Feb 8, S Balamurugan was found dead in the North Klang police lock-up, while M Thanaseelan was found dead in his cell at the Bukit Sentosa lock-up in Hulu Selangor on Feb 25.

Suhakam and the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission are probing the three deaths. - FMT News,

Thursday, March 30, 2017

1,654 deaths in custody cases since 2010 until February 2017 - 1,037 Malays...?

Over 1,600 deaths in custody since 2010, DPM reveals 
 BY KAMLES KUMAR
Monday March 13, 2017
12:23 PM GMT+8

Ahmad Zahid gave a complete racial breakdown of the deceased: 1,037 were Malays, 222 ethnic Chinese, 182 ethnic Indians, 28 from other ethnicities, and 185 foreigners. — AFP picAhmad Zahid gave a complete racial breakdown of the deceased: 1,037 were Malays, 222 ethnic Chinese, 182 ethnic Indians, 28 from other ethnicities, and 185 foreigners. — AFP pic 







KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — There have been 1,654 deaths in custody cases since 2010 until February this year, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi divulged today.

The deputy prime minister in a written parliamentary reply gave assurance that the police will not compromise or protect any police or enforcement officers who are suspected of violence resulting in injuries or death in custody.

"The statistics for death in custody from 2010 to February 2017 is 1,654 people, while the occupants received further treatment at the hospital from diseases like HIV, cancer, heart attack, blood issues, lungs, TB, asthma and other diseases," he said in his response to DAP MP Kasthuri Patto.

Ahmad Zahid also gave a complete racial breakdown of the deceased: 1,037 were Malays, 222 ethnic Chinese, 182 ethnic Indians, 28 from other ethnicities, and 185 foreigners.

He however refused to comment on the recent death in custody of S. Balamurugan in Klang, as the case is being investigated and his cause of death is still unknown.

Kasthuri, who is Batu Kawan MP, had asked the Home Ministry to list the number of deaths in custody victims since 2000s and why no immediate medical treatment was given to Balamurugan when he was in prison.

Balamurugan, 44, died in police custody at the North Klang police headquarters on February 7.  His family's lawyers had claimed from a second autopsy on the body that he had suffered multiple beatings in police custody, which subsequently triggered heart failure. - Malay Mail, 13/3/2017 -

SUHAKAM on the death in custody of Balamurugan M Suppiah (29/3/2017)

Press Statement by SUHAKAM on the death in custody of Balamurugan M Suppiah

Thursday, 30 March 2017 07:26pm
ImageThis item is reproduced from here.
This item is reproduced from here.

KUALA LUMPUR (29 MARCH 2017) - The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) concluded its independent investigation into the death of Balamurugan M Suppiah (S.Balamurugan) who died at the North Klang District Police Headquarters on 7 February 2017. According to the police, he was found unconscious in a temporary holding area for detainees at about 11.30pm. SUHAKAM begun its investigation in accordance with sections 4(1) and 12 of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999 on 10 February 2017, and in the interest of public truth. Through interviews and statements recorded from 43 witnesses, SUHAKAM identified several areas of concern that continue to arise in relation to deaths in police custody.

At the outset, SUHAKAM reiterates that the right to life is the most fundamental human right, within which no derogation is permissible. As guaranteed in Article 5(1) of the Federal Constitution and recognised in Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the right to life is a prerequisite to the realisation of all other human rights.

The deceased was arrested with two other suspects at around 6.30pm on 6 February 2017 and taken to the Bandar Baru Klang Police Station. During its investigation, SUHAKAM was informed of alleged ill-treatment and beatings of all suspects by the police between 7.30pm to 9.30pm at the police station. Before he were taken to the North Klang District Police Headquarters, the deceased was allegedly hit on the ears, beaten on his feet and legs and punched and kicked in his chest. SUHAKAM was informed that the deceased was shivering and not able to walk when he was sent to the Shah Alam Centralised Lock Up at approximately 4.10am the next morning. The suspects were produced before the Klang Magistrate’s Court at around 10.00am on 7 February 2017 for an application for further remand. The remand for the deceased was refused and the Magistrate directed the police to take him for immediate medical treatment.

SUHAKAM interviewed the Magistrate on 23 February 2017 and was informed that the deceased had a swollen face and eyes and was unable to sit up, stand or even hold his head up when his name was called in her Court. Although the police had the opportunity to take the deceased to the hospital, they failed to do so and took him back to the North Klang District Police Headquarters at about 1.15pm. SUHAKAM was informed that the deceased was shivering again at this point but he was not given any medical attention. By approximately 6.30pm by which time his detention became unlawful, S.Balamurugan’s condition had deteriorated severely to the extent that he had no control from urinating. At approximately 11.30pm, the deceased was found unconscious or presumably dead by the Investigating Officer. SUHAKAM notes with concern that from approximately 7.00pm to 11.30pm, the deceased was not monitored or checked on by the policemen on duty. SUHAKAM considers it to be the duty of the Investigating Officer to be responsible for the acceptance, safety, security, health condition and welfare of any person arrested and detained by the police.

SUHAKAM wishes to point out that although the police had 24 hours to detain the deceased, they may have deliberately flouted the Court Order or wilfully abused their powers when the deceased was taken back to the North Klang Disctrict Police Headquarters, purportedly for his statement to be recorded. Evidence show that this was not done and the deceased was instead held without a reasonable and credible justification. 

The post mortems conducted by Hospital Tuanku Ampuan Rahimah Klang (HTAR) and Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) both revealed that the cause of death of S.Balamurugan was coronary artery disease. Of note, the second pathologist from HKL concluded that the cause of death was coronary artery disease with blunt force trauma, and the time of death could have been as early as 9.00pm or 10.00pm.

It is SUHAKAM’s view that the allegations of ill treatment and torture corroborate the statements by both pathologists, in that the deceased had, among others, bruises and swelling on his eyes, a large bruise on his chest below his right nipple, swelling on his right ear, lacerations on his ears, injuries on his right chest muscle, blood clots on his right temple, back injuries and severe muscular injuries to his feet and ankles. The second pathologist indicated that he also found that the deceased had obvious bruises on his knees, fingers, back of his left lower leg, lower back and the back of his thighs.

Both post mortems revealed that the deceased was suffering from chronic liver failure and liver cirrhosis. While this is unlikely to be the cause of death, in the second pathologist’s medical opinion, this was a possible explanation for the bleeding from the mouth and nose of the deceased. Both pathologists also concluded that the deceased had a blocked left artery and was suffering from a severe heart condition, but it is their medical opinion that the injuries could have triggered a heart attack or worsened his heart condition leading to his death, given the severity of the injuries. The HKL pathologist noted that while the deceased had serious underlying medical concerns, the injuries on his body could not be ignored as they appeared to be abusive injuries, and not self-inflicted or accidental in nature.

The circumstances under which the deceased was detained after the application for remand by the police was refused were unacceptable. He had endured approximately a further 9 hours of detention prior to his death, after he was released by the Court. This in our view demonstrates a blatant disregard for respect for human life and dignity and the conditions in which he was held may be inconsistent with the Federal Constitution (Article 5(1)).

SUHAKAM is satisfied that the police knew or ought to have known, even more so when the Magistrate had made her observations and order, of the existence of a real and immediate risk to the life of the deceased, and that the police failed to take adequate measures within the scope of their powers which, judged reasonably, might have been expected to avoid such a risk. SUHAKAM is of the view that there appears to be serious breach or wilful disregard of the duty to protect life by the police due to cumulative failures on their part to provide medical attention to the deceased. SUHAKAM underlines that where there is an alleged breach of this duty of care, there is an obligation on the police to investigate and to carry out an efficient, independent and reasonable investigation, which must lead to the perpetrators’ identification and prosecution.

Evidence from SUHAKAM’s investigation also identified numerous systemic failures on the part of the police in regard to the treatment of detainees in police custody, including but not limited to failures to follow the Lock up Rules 1953, police standard operating procedures, the Court Order and relevant international human rights norms and standards.

SUHAKAM reiterates that in accordance with Principle 1 of the United Nations Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, “all persons under any form of detention or imprisonment shall be treated in a humane manner and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person”. Principle 6 further states that “no person under any form of detention or imprisonment shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. SUHAKAM’s investigation however revealed allegations of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of persons in police custody. The statements of the other suspects alleged that the police had during interrogations applied paint thinner and chilli powder on the body of two of the other suspects including on their genitals. They claimed to have been beaten with a rubber hose and wooden stick, as well as with a handcuff chain for their confessions.

Two suspects arrested in relation to this investigation were below 18. While the police must observe certain legal rights whenever they arrest or detain a child suspect, SUHAKAM’s investigation revealed that the police may have been in breach of section 85 of the Child Act 2001 that stipulates appropriate arrangements shall be made to prevent a child while being detained in a police station from associating with an adult who is charged with an offence. Both suspects who are below 18 were placed in custody with the deceased who was an adult. According to section 87 of the same Act, after the arrest of a child, the police officer or other person making the arrest shall immediately inform a probation officer and the child’s parent or guardian of the arrest. SUHAKAM notes that the law in this regard was not complied with.

Despite a growing awareness of issues concerning the proper treatment of persons in police custody, the implementation of best practices and recommendations, particularly from SUHAKAM’s 2016 Death in Custody Report is seriously lacking. Some recommendations have not been implemented at all and it is observed that the police are still ignorant of their duty of care to detainees or the fact that there is a responsibility on the police to ensure that the individual in their custody is not deprived of his right to life.

In accordance with its legal duty, SUHAKAM makes the following recommendations to the Government of Malaysia and Police Di-Raja Malaysia (PDRM):

  • To ensure that anyone deprived of their liberty is detained lawfully and in a lawful, recognised and gazetted place of detention in accordance with the law. 
  • To investigate cases of abuse and misconduct by the police, including as described above, and prosecute police officials responsible for the illegal detention, ill-treatment and/or torture of the deceased which in his case may have caused and/or contributed to his death.
  • To investigate incidents of alleged torture and abuse of the other suspects by the police, and prosecute police officials responsible.
  • To ensure internal disciplinary proceedings and criminal action for breaches of instructions, including the Court Order relating to the case.
  • As police lock-ups or facilities are not intended for or equipped to handle suspects who require immediate or sustained medical , SUHAKAM reiterates its recommendation in its 2016 Report on Death In Custody to place a custodial medical team in police lockups as well as too review the 1953 Lock-up Rules.

  • SUHAKAM is of the view that the increase in the number of deaths in police custody warrants an increased scrutiny of the operation and funding of police lock ups, particularly in relation to health services and general conditions.

    -END-

    TAN SRI RAZALI ISMAIL
    Chairman
    The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM)
    29 March 2017
     
    Source: SUHAKAM Website