Unanswered questions about 2 deaths in KL lockups in 3 weeks
Updated: Jul 4, 2020
1. On 01 June and 26 June EDICT revealed deaths in custody in two lockups in the Kuala Lumpur police district.
2. The first was the death of an alleged Nepali in Jinjang lockup. The second was in Dang Wangi lockup.
3. No one should die in a lockup. Yet an average of 16 suspects die in lockups every year in Malaysia.
4. Every lockup death is an avoidable death and a blemish on the police who are responsible for the welfare of all detainees.
5. Therefore, we expect the police to take vigorous steps to end lockup deaths.
6. There have been two deaths – in the same police district, within an interval of about 3 weeks – but the police have said little.
7. We call upon KL police chief Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim to put the public at ease by revealing at least the disclosure protocol for deaths in custody in KL police district. Other than the coroner (as required by law), to whom must the police report the death? What information must the police release to each victim’s family and to the public? By when?
8. To-date the police have released no information about the person who died in Dang Wangi lockup on 26 June. We do not know his name, age, occupation, place of arrest, reason for arrest and place of death. We do not know the name and rank of the officer assigned to investigate the death. We do not know the target dates for key milestones in the investigation.
9. To-date the police have released little information about “Dhan Bahadur” who died in Jinjang lockup on 30 May. We do not know why they failed to obtain confirmation from the Nepal embassy before they claimed “Dhan” was a citizen of Nepal; we do not know why the Malaysian immigration authorities could not assist in his identification; we do not know what action has been taken against the employers of “Dhan.” We do not know why the police asked the public for information about “Dhan” without providing a photo or sketch of him to assist the public to identify him.
10. 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 police lockups and to arrest the slide in public confidence in the police.
11. We urge them to establish a special Standard Operating Procedure to cover deaths and abuse in custody. Only then will the public believe that the police treat arrested persons as living beings, not as inanimate objects.
1 July 2020