Sunday, January 25, 2009

Kugan's Death in Police Custody :- ALIRAN Media Statement 23/1/2009

No end to deaths under police custody?

Friday, 23 January 2009 18:14
Reading of the recent death under police custody, we are bewildered and have to pose this question to our Prime Minister, “Will there be no end to this?”

Why are there so many deaths under police custody? And why do these corpses bear marks of police brutality? Do we have professional personnel or sadists interrogating suspects? Do we really get to the truth or force confessions out of these unfortunate suspects through coercion and brutal means?

The 22-year-old Kugan Ananthan, who it was claimed collapsed during interrogation and subsequently died, had markings all over his body which clearly establishes that he had been subjected to torture and inhuman treatment while under custody. Who inflicted these injuries and why was this necessary?

Instead of addressing this issue, the police seem to be after those who managed to obtain this evidence to expose the horrors that take place in police stations.

What has happened is not an isolated case. Apparently, they take place on a regular basis. Why is this so? We need answers. Can the Inspector of Police go public to provide the answers? He is duty-bound to respond to this challenge.

We have had another incident that took place last month involving two Malaysians, B Parabakar and C Solomon. According to Parabakar, “he was tortured in various ways by 11 policemen” for failing “ to provide the police with any information”. These are not professional policemen but goons in police uniforms who resort to barbaric antics to coerce suspects to confess. In this case they poured boiling hot water on them. Parabakar was terribly scalded.

We need to ask the IGP whether suspects are human beings? Do they have their rights? Are they entitled to their human rights? Do they lose their human dignity the moment they are detained?

Aliran calls on the Prime Minister to set up a Commission of Inquiry to look into the police conduct when they interrogate suspects. This is the only way to get to the truth. Internal inquiries by the police do not command the public’s respect or confidence.

P Ramakrishnan



Saturday, January 24, 2009

Kugan's Death in Police Custody :- Malaysian Bar Media Statement 23/1/2009

Image Once again we are appalled and shocked that yet another young man has died in police custody. The death of 22-year old A. Kugan occurred in highly suspicious circumstances that raise very alarming questions about the treatment of detainees in police custody and the methods of interrogation used. The question on everyone’s mind is how a young man, who was apparently in good health, died while under police care just five days after being arrested.

Disturbing and explicit photographs and video footage of the deceased individual are now available in the public domain. They reveal shockingly severe, inexplicable injuries on his body, which appear to be consistent with physical restraint and torture. The onus is squarely on the police, who had custody of the individual, to immediately explain the circumstances of his sudden death.

The Bar Council calls for prompt and serious action by the authorities, including an immediate, impartial, transparent and thorough investigation into this custodial death, preferably by an independent committee.
In this regard we welcome the Attorney-General’s announcement that he is treating this case as one of murder, and the Inspector-General of Police’s statement that there will be no cover-up.

We trust that undue attention will not be given to the incident at the mortuary. It reflected the reactions of persons who were understandably outraged and emotional about A. Kugan’s sudden and unexplained death. It also sadly reflects their lack of faith in the system and the authorities to uncover the truth in a transparent and unbiased manner. This view prevails because none of the perpetrators of similar acts in the past have been brought to book.

This is not the first custodial death in recent years and our fear is that it will not be the last. Such tragedies bring to the fore, once again, the dire need for an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission, to function as an independent, external oversight body to investigate complaints about police personnel and to make the police accountable for their conduct.

We also call on the authorities to expedite the ongoing inquests into other custodial deaths. We are deeply concerned that this custodial death will be relegated to a mere statistic, like the others. As a civilised nation, we must not let this happen.

Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan
Malaysian Bar
23 January 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Another Death in Custody - Taipan police station in USJ

And another death in police custody...

The distraughted family of a 22-year-old man who died in police custody yesterday lodged a police report this evening allegeding foul play.

Kugan Ananthan, who was detained in connection with several car theft cases, died at the Taipan police station in USJ yesterday morning.

kugan death protest 210109 posters 03His family today accused the police of killing Kugan while in custody and lodged a report at the Subang Jaya district police headquarters in Seri Kembangan.

The youth was detained by the police on Jan 15 in Kajang for questioning regarding several car theft incidences in the Subang Jaya district.

Kugan was subsequently held at the Puchong police station under a two-week remand to facilitate investigations.

kugan death protest 210109 posters 02Selangor police chief Khalid Abu Bakar was reported as saying yesterday that Kugan had died of breathing difficulties.

Photographs and video footages of Kugan taken yesterday at the mortuary however revealed severe marks on his body. There were also deep cuts in his wrists and blood was oozing from his nose and mouth.

MIC Youth members show support

Four family members of Kugan filed the police report today and they were joined by lawyers, human rights activists and several politicians from both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat.

kugan ananthan injuries 210109 backAmong them were PKR's Kapar MP S Manikavasagam, DAP's Puchong MP Gobind Singh and Teluk Intan's DAP MP M Manoharan.

Also present was a group of MIC Youth members led by its head T Mohan. Hindraf representative, led by S Jayathas, were also there.

Some 80 people had also gathered at the police station to show their anger over Kugan's death.

protest against detainee kugan death in brickfields 220109They held up banners with pictures of the deceased, showing the injuries he sustained while in police custody.

Some of the banners read: "Police are licensed killers", "Police are killing Indians" and "Police are thirsty for Indian blood" in both Malay and English. They also briefly chanted slogans demanding a probe into Kugan's death.

Heavy police presence

Talking to reporters later, Kugan's family members said that the deceased did not suffer from asthma and could not have died from breathing difficulties as claimed by the police.

Manikavasagam and Gobind added that the police were attempting to cover up the death and that there should be a full and open investigation by the Home Ministry, which oversees the police department.

Manikavasagam also said that he would organise rallies to protest against the police.

The crowd then dispersed peacefully after gathering for about 30 minutes.

There was a heavy police presence outside of the station while the police report was being lodged.

Eight Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) vehicles were parked within sight of the police station.

Yesterday Khalid told reporters that Kugan had asked for a glass of water during interrogation and upon drinking the water, he collapsed and lost consciousness.

"A doctor from a clinic nearby who was summoned to examine the man, and later confirmed that he had died," he had said.

The state police chief also said that a thorough probe would be conducted on the matter and asked people not to speculate on the cause of death.
- Malaysiakini, 21/1/2009, Dead man's family lodges report

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Another 'shoot to kill' incident - and 3 got killed.

Yet another 'shoot to kill' incident...

Why do we not hear about persons being shot in the leg and arrested...

The call to stop these 'shoot to kill' incidents must be renewed...

Police shot dead three members of the Ronal Gang including the mastermind, responsible for more than 50 house break-in cases in seven states, this morning.

The gang, comprising Indonesians, had been operating the past two years, constantly evading police detection by entering and exiting Malaysia through the proper channels - New Straits Times, 19/1/2009 - Three shot dead, Ronal Gang crippled

How easy to make such allegations after you have shot them dead - and having no need anymore to proof in court with real evidence the truth of these allegation.

How will we ever know that the 3 were members of some gang - and were responsible for 50 house breaks. Do we trust out Malaysian police? I do not - and we really must put in place some 'tribunal', which would :- determine that there was no criminality on the part of the police in the acts that resulted the death of 3, and maybe also determine whether it is true that these persons killed were indeed 'bad guys' who had committed serious crimes...

We cannot just let the police get away with killing persons - and then justifying it with all kinds of allegations.

If there is death in custody - we have an inquest - an inquiry into the death to determine what happened and whether there was any person criminally liable for the deaths...

Maybe, we should also be having similar inquests or inquiries into all 'shoot to kill' inciidents.