• EDICT Malaysia

Police must explain why they didn’t report death of Mugilarasu to the Selangor coroner.

1. EDICT notes with sadness a news report at 3 pm today that yet another person has died in custody. The latest life to be lost in custody is that of Mugilarasu, 35 years.

2. We are shocked to learn that as of 8 pm today (3 July) the police had not informed the Selangor state coroner of the death of Mugilarasu – despite the fact that last night (2 July), at 11:15 pm, the police informed Mugilarasu’s brother, Karunakaran Pillai – who confirmed the identity of the deceased this morning.

3. EDICT calls upon Selangor police chief, Commissioner Datuk Noor Azam Jamaludin, to explain why the coroner has yet to be informed and whether he considers this a non-compliance with the law.

4. We remind him that the Criminal Procedure Code requires the police to report the death immediately to the Coroner (section 329(5)), that it is common practice for coroners to view the body in-situ (section 330), and that a coroner must conduct an inquest into the death (section 334).

5. We call upon Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Hamid Bador and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin to respond to growing public concern over the appalling number of deaths in custody and to arrest the slide in public confidence in the police over their handling of such cases.

6. We urge them to establish a special Standard Operating Procedure to cover deaths and abuse in custody, in lockups and in other places of detention. Only then will the public believe that detained persons are treated by jailers and investigators as living beings, not as inanimate objects.

EDICT 03 July 2020

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