Friday, July 17, 2009

Suhakam: Human Rights Standards Must Be Maintained & Practised During Investigations & Interrogations By The Macc & All Other Enforcement Agencies

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) is concerned and deeply disturbed by the unfortunate death of Teoh Beng Hock, the aide to a Selangor state executive council member, who was assisting the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)’s investigation into the allegations of misuse of constituency development funds by several
State Assemblymen.

It was reported that Teoh was brought to the MACC office in Shah Alam at around 6.00 pm in the evening and was released at around 3.45 am the next morning to assist the agency’s investigation. SUHAKAM is of the view that such long continuous process of investigation could amount to mental torture.

According to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, torture involves any act inflicted on a person for obtaining from him or a third person information or confession with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. SUHAKAM has, since 2003, continuously recommended to the Government to sign or accede to the said Convention. SUHAKAM strongly believes that by doing so, the Government will have an effective framework and show of commitment to address problems related to torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment in the country. SUHAKAM urges the Government to seriously consider signing or acceding to the Convention.

Additionally, this is not the first complaint SUHAKAM received against the MACC. In the year 2008, SUHAKAM recorded two complaints against the MACC’s officers in conducting investigations where they have been allegedly using force. The matter has been referred to the Police for investigation and SUHAKAM has yet to receive the development on the two cases from the Police.

SUHAKAM will carry out an independent investigation into this incident and if deemed appropriate after further investigations will decide at the next monthly meeting whether a Public Inquiry should be carried out.

Meanwhile SUHAKAM urges the MACC and other enforcement agencies to ensure that Human Rights standards are maintained and practised at all times, including in the course of interrogating witnesses and suspects.

Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia
Human Rights Commission Of Malaysia

Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Simon Sipaun, Vice Chairman
Dato’ Dr Michael Yeoh, Chairperson, Economic, Social, Cultural, Civil And Political Rights Working Group
Dato’ Choo Siew Kioh, Chairperson, International Issues And Cooperation Committee
Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria, Commissioner of Human Rights Commission Of Malaysia (Suhakam)

17 July 2009

No comments: