Saturday, April 09, 2005


Police Must STOP Humiliating Arrested Persons

We are shocked that the Federal CID Director Comm. Datuk Fauzi Shaari has defended the action of police in giving crew-cuts to arrested persons detained at police station lock-ups. It must be remembered that persons detained at police lock-ups are mere suspects pending investigation. Many a time arrested persons are released in a couple of hours or days after police investigations show that they are not involved in the crime they are suspected to have committed.In his statement reported in the Star (9/4/2005), Datuk Fauzi Shaari absurdly claims that the crew-cuts are necessary for hygiene and discipline reasons.

In claiming that the crew-cuts are necessary for discipline reasons, Datok Fauzi Shaari clearly exhibits the police department’s inveterate inability to understand that arrested persons are not convicts and are innocent until proven guilty. The police have no right to humiliate arrested persons in this manner in order to impose discipline. It is not the task of the police department to teach discipline to the Malaysian public.

It is time the police realize that in this country arrested persons cannot be treated as if they were inmates of notorious penal institutions such as Chekhov’s Island of Sakhalin or the Gulag Archipelago or Devil’s Island. This seems obvious to everyone except the police department who appear to think that it is permissible to treat arrested suspects as if they were hardened convicts.

As regard Datok Fauzi’s claim that crew-cuts are necessary for hygiene purposes, we take this as an admission that police lock-ups are unhygienic places. It is undeniable that lock-ups in Malaysia are generally smelly, dirty, over-crowded and lacking adequate toilet and bathroom facilities. The police department ought to take the initiative to improve conditions instead of giving crew-cuts to detainees

In addition, the time of the police department is better spent investigating and solving crimes instead of posing as ‘barbers’ to arrested persons.

It is unacceptable that the Federal CID Chief should think that he has the right to treat Malaysians in this manner and for these reasons.

We demand that the practice of giving hair-cuts to arrested persons immediately cease as it is humiliating and is an affront to human dignity.

N. Surendran
Charles Hector
for Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET)

9th April 2005
Kuala Lumpur

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