Penang recorded the highest number of custodial deaths in Malaysia last year and has already registered its first case for 2015, human rights groups Suaram and Aliran said today.
The Malay Mail OnlineThe Malay Mail Online – 7 hours ago
GEORGE TOWN, Jan 22 — Penang recorded the highest number of custodial deaths in Malaysia last year and has already registered its first case for 2015, human rights groups Suaram and Aliran said today.
The groups said of the 14 cases reported nationwide last year, nine deaths occurred in Penang, eight of which occurred in police lockups and another while in prison.
In the latest case, a 63-year-old African reportedly died at the Penang Hospital yesterday due to heart complications. The man was under police custody for a drug offence.
“This is the first custodial death case reported in 2015 in Penang, and the second case in Malaysia,” the groups said in a statement issued today.
The first case this year involved a 31-year-old man who died while under detention at the Ayer Molek lockup in Johor.
“Enough is enough. Each death is a travesty and tragedy for the persons concerned and their families,” they said.
Both Suaram and Aliran, who have been closely monitoring custodial deaths in Malaysia for years, claimed that despite the frequency of the cases, nothing has changed.
They repeated calls on Penang Police Chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi to take immediate steps to stop future occurrences.
Abdul Rahim, they said, should conduct a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding each custodial death case and identify those responsible.
“We want him to file charges against those responsible in causing the deaths without fear or favour,” they demanded.
The police should be held fully accountable to the public, as well as the families of the deceased, the groups added.
They reminded the police to ensure that all officers fully understand the procedures under the Lockup Rules 1958, which recommends disciplinary action on those who violate the rules.