Thursday, January 05, 2006

Jailers beat us, claims EO detainee (Malaysiakini)

Jailers beat us, claims EO detainee
Andrew Ong
Jan 5, 07 2:05pm

Warders attacked some 40 inmates in the Simpang Renggam detention camp on Wednesday afternoon leaving scores injured, claimed an inmate.

The source, who contacted malaysiakini that evening, said detainees from seven cells in a particular block were attacked after being made to squat.

“They used ratan canes and batons. Some of us were beaten until we vomited. Others could not walk as their bones were broken,” said the inmate, a businessman prior to incarceration and accused of being notorious criminal gang member in Johor.

According to newsreports today, 16 detainees were given out-patient treatment at the Kluang Hospital on Wednesday evening following the incident. One of them, S Selvam, allegedly suffered a broken hip, according to the New Straits Times.

The source however claimed 21 individuals sought medical attention.

Rehabilitation or reaffirmation?

He said the beatings probably stemmed from a fracas between two youths that day, but the matter was then ‘handled’ and resolved by senior inmates.

Two hour laters, an unspecified number of warders carried out the attacks.

“Normally, they would call detainees in for questioning to find out about any fights that have taken place, but not this time,” he said, warning that resentment towards warders and the government by inmates were growing after the alleged attack.

“This is a Pusat Pemulihan Akhlak (Moral Rehabilitation Centre) but they treat us worst than animals. Kita langsung tidak boleh baik. Depa buat kita lebih teruk. (We can’t be better persons like this. They make us even worse),” he added.

Detention centre authorities could not be contacted for comments.

Suhakam to probe

Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) commissioner Siva Subramaniam said the human rights watchdog would be investigating the matter.

“Suhakam is concerned if the accusations are true. Prisoners need to be treated well as they are human beings too,” said Siva, who contacted by malaysiakini yesterday after he heard similar allegations on the beatings at the detention centre.

He added that a Suhakam delegation might visit the centre on Monday.

Almost all detainees in the detention camp are held under the Emergency (Public Order and Preventive of Crime) Ordinance 1969, a law which allows detention without trial.

Detention can be renewed every two years under the discretion of the internal security minister on advice from the police.

Generally, detainees at the centre range from alleged criminal gang members to petty thieves. They are normally never charged in court for their alleged crimes.

The Simpang Renggam detention camp which holds about 1,000 inmates is often a subject of controversy due to its deplorable, unsanitary and overcrowded conditions