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Government should re-evaluate and re-structure the prison system

Government should re-evaluate and re-structure the prison system and
ensure improvement in Human Rights condition in Malaysia

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) and Civil Society Committee of LLG Cultural Development Centre are highly concerned about the human rights violation case of Ahmad Syauqey Abdul Ghani and the other 113 prisoners in Pengkalan Chepa prison, Kelantan which has recently surfaced.

We strongly condemn the Malaysian Prisons Department’s lack of strict conduct control towards the state prison authorities, which is the main cause of ill-treatment of prisoners.

We urge the Malaysian Government to re-evaluate and re-structure the prison system in Malaysia to ensure improvement in human rights condition in our country.

 

 Ahmad Syauqey Abdul Ghani was intercepted by police officials in uniforms on his way to pick up his three daughters on the 20th of June 2011. After requested by Ahmad Syauge, the police officer was not willing to clearly show his police authority card, and proceeded in roughing him up before bringing him to the police station. Individuals also present, as identified by Ahmad Syaugey, were traffic police officials and an officer of Kota Bharu City council.

Ahmad Syaugey was later told that he had violated Section 186 of the Penal Code for obstructing a public officer as he was brought to Bachok Police Station that day. After being bailed out, he returned to make a police report at Bachok Police Station against the police for abuse of power on 22nd of June 2011. He also protested by lying down in front of the police station. After failing to drive away Ahmad Syaugey, the police then arrested him and sent him to the detention cell in the station. He is now charged under Section 90 of the Police Act for behaving indecently in a police station.

After failing to pay the bail money, Ahmad Syaugey was then remanded and sent to Pengkalan Chepa Prison. When detained in prison, Ahmad Syaugey and other prisoners were treated in an inhumane way where they were forced to strip naked and to defecate in front of other detainees. Also, he and several other prisoners were locked up in a overly crowded small quarantine cell. The prison also didn’t provide enough clean water, clothes and space for Muslim prayers. Ahmad Syaugey also witnessed unauthorized canning on other prisoners’ feet during his detention period.

We believe that the case of Ahmad Syaugey and other prison detainees is a serious violation of human rights and also abuse of power. According to the 1995 Prison Act (act 537), prison officers should lead by example and to detain the prisoners under the voluntary will of the prisoners. It is also stated in the Prison Rules, 2000 (Section 3(11)) no one prisoners are to be deprived of rights to cover themselves in proper clothing in front of other prisoners.

Besides that, Article 10 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by the United Nations clearly requires that anyone deprived of liberty to be treated with dignity and humanity.

Therefore, SUARAM and Civil Society Committee of LLG Cultural Development Centre call for an immediate forming of an independent investigation commission to investigate this case in according to a fair and transparent investigation procedure. We also urge the Chief Director of Malaysia Prison Department, Datuk Wira Hj. Zulkifli bin Omar to issue a public apology and, with immediate effect, suspend the employment of prison officers involved in this serious power abuse case.

We strongly urge the federal government to take a look into the increasing numbers of power abuse cases by law enforcement officials , and be determined in forming Independent Police Complaints and Misconducts Commission (IPCMC) to curb the unlawful police abuse cases, also, to sign the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Convention Against Torture, both by the United Nations, as a pledge to reform and improve human rights conditions in Malaysia.

 Issued by:
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) 
Civil Society Committee of LLG Cultural Development Centre (CSC-LLG)