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Safety in lockups: Where are the CCTVs, asks DAP

9 Jun 2017

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PETALING JAYA: DAP says the government must do more to ensure all police lockups and interrogation rooms are equipped with working CCTVs.

In a statement today, Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto said despite numerous pledges by the police, six deaths in police custody had been recorded this year alone and no one had been held accountable.

Her comments followed a revelation by a police officer yesterday that the CCTVs at the Bandar Baru Klang police station were dummies.

Speaking at an Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission hearing to determine if any police misconduct had led to the death of a detainee on Feb 8, the officer in charge of the police station, ASP Harun Abu Bakar, said the CCTVs were only installed to deter staff from taking the belongings of other staff.

Kasthuri said in 2013, Mortadza Nazarene, who was Bukit Aman management director then, had pledged that a committee would be set up to ensure the safety of all lockup inmates.

He had also said that five police lockups at the Jinjang police station, Shah Alam police station, Indera Mahkota Kuantan police station, Bayan Baru police station and the Kota Kinabalu police station would be equipped with CCTVs, intercom systems, a lawyer’s room, a court room, a control room, an identification parade room, a transit room and a room for meals.

He added that police would cooperate with the health ministry to conduct medical checks on detainees before they were sent to the lockup, and that a doctor would be brought in to examine the detainees at least once a week.

“Have all these pledges made in 2013 been fulfilled and adhered to?” Kasthuri asked.

“Are doctors ferried to lockups, even in rural areas and interior areas like Sabah and Sarawak, to render medical treatment to unwell detainees?

“Are detainees given a full medical check-up in the initial stages of detention in lockups?

“If the detainee is unwell, is he given immediate medical treatment or taken to a clinic or hospital after being taken to court first?”

She said currently only 8%, or 58, out of the 704 lockups in the country were fitted with Self-Monitoring Analytics Reporting Technology (Smart) CCTVs.

These had been installed at a cost of RM3.5 million under the first phase of the Smart Lockup programme announced by police management director Zulkifli Abdullah in 2016.

Subsequent installations were planned for all lockups thereafter.

“With only 8% of police lock-ups fitted with Smart CCTVs, what is the status on the installation of the balance 646 CCTVs in lockups nationwide?” Kasthuri said.

“How much longer is Putrajaya going to drag its feet to ensure lockups in the country are equipped with these CCTVs?”

She added that the installation of Smart CCTVs would ensure competency, accountability and transparency on the part of the police and make certain that the law was not taken into anyone’s hands.

She also asked who monitored the pledges to ensure they were carried out.

“Who is responsible when sick inmates are not given speedy and necessary treatment?

“Who is responsible when rogue officers take matters into their own hands and bash up inmates in lockups, detention centres and prisons in the name of extracting information from them?

“Is it the duty of the investigation officer or any police officer to conduct interrogations, or is it the duty of the prosecutor to do that? What are the standard procedures followed in exerting force to derive information?”

Kasthuri called on Prime Minister Najib Razak to ensure officers who abuse their position and harm inmates will be suspended and tried in court like any other person.

“It is evident that there has been a violation of these pledges and promises.

“Putrajaya has committed a colossal violation of human rights by their severe lack of conscience, accountability and commitment in ensuring that miscreant officers don’t get away when they take the law into their own hands,” she said.

Resource : Free Malaysia Today