Wednesday, February 10, 2010

5 Feb - Kematian dalam tahanan pihak Berkuasa meningkat

Hari ini, saya telah dijemput oleh Majlis Peguam untuk membentang satu kertas mengenai Kematian dalam tahanan pihak berkuasa. Saya juga mendedahkan dalam sepuluh tahun yang lalu, jumlah kematian di Penjara adalah 2,500 iaitu jauh lebih tinggi berbanding dengan 15 tahun sebelum itu. Semua orang ada hak untuk hidup. Dibawah adalah kertas kerja yang dibentang oleh saya mengenai kempen ini selama ini.

Advocacy and Probable Solutions

1. Death in Custody has its Highlights
1995 Lee Quat Leong High Profile Maybank Robbery
- Suffered 45 external injuries and 7 fractured ribs
- Judicial inquiry found 11 policemen criminally responsible but only 2 junior police officers were prosecuted

1995 Deaths Camps Tenaganita expose
- Tenaganita held Press Conference exposing Camp conditions including Death In Camps (Death Camps) which later got Irene Fernandez prosecuted
- Megat Junit confirmed in Parliament that 46 deaths in Detention Centre (42 in Semenyih Camp)
- Cause of death – 10 (beri-beri), 12 (gastric). MMA called as highly treatable diseases
2002 One death every 2 weeks
- The death of Thama Rajen, Ragupathy and Vivashanu Pillai
- PRIM and Uthayakumar took these issues in the open

2002 R.Sundara Raju
15-11-2002 Klang Lock-up
- Procession in Klang Town
- MIC Youth Leader

2003 Ho Kwai See 30-7-2003 Sungai Buloh Prison
- The Question of the right Second postmortem
The KL High Court rejected the family application on grounds that the requirements under the Special Relief Act 1950 was not satisfied. This had huge implication and would mean that all future request for second post-mortem can only be performed if authorized by a magistrate or a police.
2004 Francis Udayapan 14 April 2004 Klang River
- The missing body , DNA
- Inquest and Watching Brief – Puravalen
The KL High Court allowed Puravalen appeal that family lawyers have the right to question witness and inspect exhibits after the Magistrate denied this right
2005 S.Hendry 19-11-2005 Simpang Renggam
- Young detainee
- SUHAKAM inquiry
2009 Kugan 15-1-2009 Taipan USJ
- Post Hindraf & Tsunami Election
- Multiracial Procession

2009 Teoh Beng Hock 15-7-2009 MACC, Plaza Masalam
Official Numbers of Deaths in Police Custody
Year 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Official Count in 20071 - 7 16 15 23 19 14 14
Official Count in 20052 15 7 16 15 23 19 6a -
Official Count in 20043 15 7 14 15 15 1b - -
Official Count in 20034 - - - 16 7c - - -
Official Count in 20025 - 6 10 18d - - - -
a as of Jun 2005; b as of May 2004; c as of July 2003; d as of September 2002
Source: Internal Security Ministry and Home Ministry in parliamentary replies provided on April 2007,1 July 2005,2 May 2004,3 October 2003,4 and October 20025 NA: Not available

Official Statistics on Deaths in Prison and Custody from 1990 to Sept. 2004
Cause of Death Deaths in Prison Deaths in Lockup
HIV/AIDS 523 31
Septicaemia 391 -
Pulmonary Tuberculosis 196 -
Pneumonia 111 -
Meningocuaphacitis 9 -
Heart Disease 32 3
High Blood Pressure 9 -
Hepatitis 8 -
Diabetes 6 -
Breathing Difficulties 27 -
Asthma - 8
Other Diseases 271 60
Suicide - 33
Fighting Among Detainees - 5
Bleeding of Brain - 3
Fleeing from Custody - 6
Slipped in the lockup - 1
TOTAL 1,583 150
Source: Internal Security Ministry in parliamentary reply provided February 2005

Official Statistics on Deaths in Prison and Custody from 2000 to 23 November 2009
Cause of Death Deaths in Prison
HIV/AIDS 1533 ++
Pulmonary Tuberculosis
Pneumonia Hospital
Heart Disease 1022
High Blood Pressure
Other Diseases
Suicide 31
Fighting Among Detainees - Prisons
Electrocuted 1
TOTAL 2,587
Source: Internal Security Ministry in parliamentary reply provided 14 December 2009
2. The Achievements

- Raised the awareness – campaign strategy used by PRIM effective. Protest, Mortuary PC, Media campaign, procession etc
- The Setting up of the Royal Commission to Enhance the Police Force
- Bar Council move to do watching Brief
- Media coverage
- The call for Inquest and managed to get Inquest.

In April 2006, the then-Chief Judge of Malaya, Siti Norma Yaakob, questioned the decision by deputy public prosecutors and magistrates not to have inquests for 22 deaths whilst in police custody between 2000 and 2004 when the law made it mandatory in such cases. She said this after quoting the Royal Commission’s above findings. She also highlighted that although in 39 out of 80 cases the Sudden Death Report (SDR) was prepared and submitted to the magistrate in April 2004, inquests had not yet been initiated. (SUARAM HR Report)
- Legal victory and defeats – watching brief and second postmortem
- Guidelines on Inquest – Practice Direction No 1 of 2007 by Tan Sri Dato Siti Norma Binti Yaakob

3. The campaign so far and the Stagnations of Tactics

- When family members or relatives are strong to seek justice and answers
- Strong NGO involvement – PRIM, UK, Mike, Surinderan
- Strong and brave media events
- Inquest…..result
- Stagnation

4. The Weaknesses

- Unable to Monitor all places of detention
- No followup – Inquest dates, if people are charged
- Inquest takes a long time – people and lawyers lose interest and no stamina
- No media attention – when Inquest takes place
- No constant campaign on the call for Coroner Court System
- No followup on the right to 2nd. Post Mortem
- The HR Lawyers are normally the same team – Arrest, Public Assembly, Eviction & DIC
- No perseverance

5. The Probable things we can do or try to do

1. Streamline what we want to monitor – lock-up, prisons and Detention Centres and work with various NGOs to divide this task.

2. Proper Follow-up of cases and Statistics including Parliament Questions

i. Deaths ? Where ?
ii. How many postmortem done and findings?
iii. How many cases people charged or Inquest called ?
iv. How many Inquest called by Magistrate and how many called by AG?
v. How many Inquest got victims lawyers involved ?
vi. How many cases got lawyers from Bar Council or NGO Monitoring?
vii. Watching Brief Reports ?
viii. Verdict of Inquest ?
ix. How many people charged? Followup from Inquest
x. What about medical negligent ?

3. Relook at all the recommendations done so far by and reactivate these demands. For example in 2003, HR Groups called for compulsory inquest on all cases of deaths in police custody and demanded a second and independent post-mortem procedure on the deceased done upon the request of family members. Later there was call for a Coroner Court
iv. PRIM

4. Have a formal dialogue with MMA and certain Doctors for example Dr. Safoorah – Head of Forensic Department from Seremban GH who is a specialist in Custody medicine. They have also a guideline on how to examine victims of police abuse We can work with MMA perhaps on such issues as below:
- guidelines as well as some HR perspective for Doctors when treating remand prisoners or detainees.
- Postmortem and the right to 2nd Post mortem

5. Siti Norma Yaakob Directive 5 January 2007 in Page 8 under
J Inquest should be prompt
Public Interest requires that Inquiries into deaths should be held more promptly than has been the case in the past. Inquests should be done at the very earliest moment after death. Inquest should be best conducted continuously until the end with the most minimal of postponement in between
Followup on this and check if the directives have been fulfilled

6. Intensify the campaign to call for a Coroner Court System. Meeting with PM. Memorandum Inquests into cases of deaths in custody are extremely slow.

7. Train lawyers and NGO activist on key skills needed to handle such cases
- Handbook for activist and lawyers
- Procedures
- Police torture methods
- Basic understanding on forensic science , DNA etc

8. Make law reforms to make it mandatory for family members be notified on Inquest. In many cases, family members are not notified of the commencement and postponement of inquests. Thus, many other cases may have had inquests conducted without the knowledge of the family members concerned.

9. SUARAM Plan to print a obituary book on deaths in custody as an awareness campaign & Wall of Victims

Prepared for Discussion


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