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Friday, June 29, 2012

Recalcitrant police: 1 month after death in custody! Still no inquest!


Recalcitrant police: 1 month after death in custody! Still no inquest!
Today marks one month of silent treatment from the police since the death of Isparan s/o Subramaniam under the custody of Sungai Siput Police Station. Isparan left behind 3 mourning children.
To date, Isparan’s family members have issued letters to the Attorney General, the Chief Justice and the OCPC of Sungai Siput requesting for an explanation on the death of Isparan and urged for an inquest to be held. The family members had also delivered a memorandum to SUHAKAM, pushing for an inquest on the death of Isparan.  However, all parties have yet to respond to the family’s request.
SUARAM is gravely concerned at the state of accountability and responsibility of the police towards Malaysians. It is with regret to recall the untimely demise of  Ulaganathan s/o Muniandy in 2003. An inquest was only held in 2007 after 4 years of endless letters to the government, memorandums and press conferences.
How other humans behave
Interestingly in  Australia,  a sergeant from the Northern Territory Police had apologised to the family for a death in custody in the cell under his supervision. Sergeant William McDonnell cried as he told members of Mr Briscoe's family in the court that he had breached their trust and failed to protect Mr Briscoe.
SUARAM lauds the level of responsibility shown by the Sergeant but laments the fact that this would be almost impossible in Malaysia in the absence of a political will to reform the police institution. Malaysians witnessed the ignorance of the police towards IPCMC. The need for an  inquest must be held for every death in custody.
SUARAM strongly urge the government and police to take the responsibility of Isparan’s death while under their custody and hold the officers in charge of Isparan accountable through an independent inquest.
R Thevarajan is the Right To Justice Coordinator for SUARAM

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