EDICT condemns PDRM for negligence against the underage detainee in lockup
1. According to the media reports by several media agencies dated January 17, 2001, there was a case where a minor was raped by several men while detained in Miri police lockup.
2. EDICT found that there was a violation of the procedure by the police when the teenage girl was arrested. Here are the descriptions:
a) Pursuant to section 85 (b) of the Children Act 2001, a juvenile detained in a lockup shall be cared for by at least one female officer. However, in this case, according to the report made by the victim, the cell she occupied was not taken care of and could even be opened by other detainees. If this situation is true, then the police must be held accountable for negligence and misconduct against the victim as well as disobeying the instructions contained in the Children Act 2001.
b) There is no need for the police to detain a minor detainee for a long period of time. For non-serious cases, the police should only interrogate the child in the investigation room and do not need to be placed in a lockup. The failure of the police to ensure that there is no association between the child and the adult detainee is contrary to the requirements of section 85 (a) of the Children Act.
3. EDICT has been advising the police since last year about the need to detain someone during this pandemic season. The police can avoid a person from being detained in a lockup that has a high risk of infection and can even cause other problems like in this child’s case. Police can continue the investigation by interrogating suspects or case witnesses without the need to be detained in a lockup.
4. To prevent this from happening again, EDICT would like to advise PDRM to take action against the investigating officer and also the other officers involved in this case. In addition, training for the police officers in dealing with cases involving children needs to be enhanced.
5. The establishment of IPCMC must be expedited to investigate the misconduct and discipline of members in PDRM. The government's delay in implementing the IPCMC contributed to a negative impact on the credibility and integrity of the PDRM. It is a shame that such incident took place in a place that was supposed to be the safest place for the public and detainees.
6. The negligence and misconduct of the police on detainees including this case is a serious matter. Only with firm action on those police officers involve will be able to give a lesson so that such cases do not recur. IPCMC is one of the ways to ensure that this case can be investigated fairly. The public will also be convinced of the credibility of the PDRM which is now increasingly tarnished due to the many news reports on negligence and misconduct by PDRM like in this case.
17 Jan 2021