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Friday, May 31, 2013

Horrific autopsy report on Sat: Zahid, Khalid unfit to hold office, Paul Low a disgrace - Surendran

Horrific autopsy report on Sat: Zahid, Khalid unfit to hold office, Paul Low a disgrace - Surendran
The family of the late N Dharmendran, who was beaten to death while in police custody, will reveal the full post-mortem report containing "horrific and shocking" details on Saturday, their lawyers told Malaysia Chronicle on Friday.
"Injuries and torture detailed in post-mortem report is horrific and will shock the nation when revealed tomorrow. That no action has been taken 9 days since Dharmendran's death proves the Inspector General of Police Khalid Bakar and Home Minister Zahid Hamidi are unfit to hold office. Paul Low is a disgrace and laughing stock as a human rights minister," N Surenrdan, the family's lawyer, told Malaysia Chronicle.
Surendran will expose the findings of the autopsy at a press conference to be held in the PKR headquarters at 10.30am on Saturday, June 1.
Remanded over a fight but ended murdered by the police?
The 31-year-old Dharmendran, an employee of sewage treatment utility Indah Water, had been remanded since May 11 for suspected involvement in a fight. He was found dead in police custody on May 21.
Surendran, who is also the MP for Padang Serai, had just days ago dropped a bombshell, revealing that Paul Low had made contact with his clients and invited them to a secret meeting without the presence of their current lawyers.
While Low, a former president of Transparency International Malaysia, was quick to deny this, insisting that it was the family who misconstrued his motives, the newly-appointed minister drew criticism for U-turning on his previous appeal to the government to form an independent panel, IPCMC, to monitor police conduct as a means to prevent custodial deaths.
"This is hypocritical because Datuk Low had himself criticised the failure of the government to implement the IPCMC as there is already an existing mechanism to lodge complaints against the police is both hypocritical and irresponsible," DAP sec-gen Lim Guan Eng said in a statement issued on Friday.
"As the then-President of Transparency International Malaysia, Datuk Low told a press conference after presenting the 2009 Global Corruption Report that the watering down of the proposed IPCMC into a special complaints commission ‘strongly indicates the government’s inability to regulate the gatekeepers’.”
What happened to you, Paul Low?
Indeed, there is deep public disappointment with Paul Low, who is perceived by many to have 'sold out' to Prime Minister Najib Razak's corruption-tainted government.
As for Zahid, whose credibility is already sagging after several highly-priced procurement deals he pushed through as Defense Minister, calls are growing for him to step down for abuse of power and interfering with police work. Just today, a group of students protested outside his office, lambasting him for using the police as tools for his political purposes.
"Even though there is a new Home minister, the Home Ministry continues to be partisan and as long as this continues, the police will not be independent,"  student activists Abdul Muqit Muhammad had told the press.
Newly-appointed IGP Khalid Bakar, who was caught lying over another custodial death case in 2009 involving A Kugan, has not been able to counter the perception that he is just another "subservient catspaw" for Najib and his ruling Umno party. Instead, his recent promotion as the country's top cop has ony added to this view.
All three men have rejected the establishment of the IPCMC, arguing that any complaint against the police could be channelled to the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC), which they claim will investigate the complaints and recommend further action if necessary.
They have also tried to shield the 4 cops accused of beating Dharmendran from murder charges or being suspended from work.
“You have to be fair to both sides. You cannot blame the entire police force when something like this happens,” said Zahid.
Take responsibility
Meanwhile, human rights NGO Suaram has demanded that Khalid and Zahid take responsibility for Dharmendrans's death.
"SUARAM expects nothing short of transparency and independence of the police and the Home Ministry in this matter," it said in a statement.
"For as long as the police are allowed to commit these hideous criminal offences with impunity, the police are not qualified boast and to make public announcements on the level of safety and security on the streets. In fact, the police should start focussing to improve the safety of suspects under police supervision and custody."
It has asked for answers as to:
1. Why were there staples on the deceased’s ears?;
2. Who inflicted the bruises all over the deceased body?;
3. What were the grounds considered by the Magistrate in allowing the police’s application for remand?; and
4. The status of investigation on Dharmendran at the time of the application for remand and subsequently bail.
Suaram has also recommended the following actions to be taken by the authorities:
1. An independent and transparent investigation on the officers in charge of Dharmendran;
2. The police to disclose the Daily Journal kept by the officer in charge of Dharmendran during the initial detention and remand period;
3. An urgent intervention from the Magistrate who had approved the remand application and further heard the bail application; and
4. The Attorney General to initiate proceedings against the officers in charge of Dharmendran.
However, neither the IGP, the Home Minister nor the de-facto Human Rights Minister has responded to any of its suggestions.
Malaysia Chronicle

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