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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Family member claims mother, sister being wrongfully detained

A family member of two women who were arrested and convicted of shoplifting has alleged that they are being wrongfully detained.
Singaporean single mother Quek Chin Fern, 42, and her daughter Cheryl Isabella Lim, 18, were sentenced to one day of imprisonment on June 22, after their conviction on the same day at a magistrate’s court in Johor Bahru.
However, Quek’s son, Miguel Lim, 19, told Malaysiakini that his mother and sister are still being imprisoned at Kluang Prison, until now.
Lim managed to speak to his mum, he said, after she was allowed to make a phone call.
“My mum said that her arm had been dislocated during her detention and that no medical attention is offered as there is no one in the prison clinic.
“She said that she and my sister will only be released later this week, for reasons unknown,” Lim said yesterday.
His mother and sister also do not have any lawyers representing them, he added.
The prison officer informed him that the two women cannot be released as they do not have their passports with them, he said, but he checked with their investigating officers, who confirmed that their travel documents were returned to them at the magistrate’s court on June 22.
Pair taken 100km away, to Kluang
“I was told by a police officer that they would be released on the same day (June 22), before 5pm from the court as their sentence is only for one day.
“However, they were taken more than 100km away from Johor Bahru, to Kluang.
“If they were needed to be deported, the Immigration and Customs control was just a walking distance from the court (in Johor Bahru),” Lim said.
In a statement yesterday, Suaram condemned the supposed unlawful detention of Quek and Cheryl.
Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy said additional queries to prison officials about the detention of the two women were replied with information that they are being detained upon orders from the Immigration Department.
“There is no legitimate ground for these individuals to be subjected to additional detention by the Prisons Department and Immigration Department,” Sevan said.
He called their detention an “underhanded method” utilised by the Prisons Department to “illegally detain” individuals beyond the ambit of law.
The detention of the two women and the further lack of medical attention provided to Quek, he said, was in direct violation of Article 5(1) of the Federal Constitution, Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as Rule 27 of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Nelson Mandela Rules).
As such, Sevan called for the immediate release of the two women.
Malaysiakini has contacted the Immigration Department and is awaiting its response on this matter.
This is not the first encounter Quek and her two children have had with the Malaysian Immigration Department.

It was reported last year that the three of them had pleaded not guilty to obstructing the duty of an immigration officer in Johor Baru.
They were alleged to have carried out the offence at a car exit lane at the Second-Link, Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex, on Aug 12, 2016.
This was after the three purportedly did not wind down the rear window of their car, as instructed by an immigration officer at the checkpoint.- Mkini

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