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FORWARDED APPEAL (Malaysia): Assault of detainees by prison wardens; provide further medical treatment

June 24, 2009

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Forwarded Urgent Appeal: AHRC- FUA-006-2009

24 May 2009

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MALAYSIA: Assault of detainees by prison wardens; provide further medical treatment

ISSUES: Torture; prison conditions; right to health
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Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) wishes to forward an appeal update from SUARA RAKYAT MALAYSIA (SUARAM) regarding the assault and medical neglect of detainees by prison wardens in the Sungai Buloh prison. The AHRC joins the call for the prisons department to provide immediate and comprehensive medical treatment to the prisoners, and for the government to urge for the set up of a Royal Commission to conduct a proper investigation into this and other cases of the torture of Malaysians in custody.

For more information, please contact:
Tah Moon Hui
Coordinator SUARAM
Tel: +60 (0)3-77843525 / (0)12-7209981
www.suaram.net

Thank you.
Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
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Urgent Appeal Update 2: 22 June 2009

Assault of Detainees by Prison Wardens and Provide Further Medical Treatment

The 27 prisoners in Sungai Buloh who were beaten up by prison wardens on 11 June 2009 have finally received minimum medical treatment and were allowed access to their families. Only 6 of them were brought to hospital for treatment on 12 June 2009 and sent back to the prison on the same day, while the others received treatment at the prison’s in-house medical centre.

However, after the families visited the prisoners, they were dissatisfied with the medical treatment provided and demanded for their family members to be admitted to hospital because their injuries were serious.
Furthermore, the Commissioner of National Human Rights Institution who visited the prison on 15 June has suggested to the Prisons Department to provide urgent treatment for 4 prisoners who were in bad shape. SUHAKAM has also identified 6 wardens and 14 Special Action Force (Unit Kawalan Pencegahan, UKP) personnel who were involved in this incident.

The Commissioner said that it was evident that excessive force was used on the inmates by prison authorities. The prisoners were 'bashed up' and pepper spray was also used on them. In addition, they saw inmates with swollen legs and some with head wounds. Many of them had severe bruises.

SUARAM accompanied the family members to lodge police reports against the wardens who were involved in the incident of physical abuse of the prisoners. In the police report, the family members highlighted a few wardens and UKP personnel who were identified by the prisoners involved in this incident. Up to date, no personnel have been declared to be responsible for the incident.

The family members also highlighted the prisoners’ condition in their police report. According to them, some of the prisoners suffered fracture of hands and legs, head injuries, bruises and trauma on their bodies.
On 17 June, two of the prisoners who continued their trial proceedings at court complained to the judge on their injuries and the judge granted their request for immediate medical treatment.

SUARAM is gravely concerned about the incident and worry for the safety of other prisoners in Sungai Buloh prison. We request the Prisons Department to provide immediate comprehensive medical treatment to the prisoners and urge the Government to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to exercise its power under the Commissions of Enquiry Act 1950 to appoint a Royal Commission to conduct a proper investigation into this incident and other similar incidences that have occurred.

Urgent action needed:

Please continue write to the Prison Department and the Government to express your strongest protest to the assault and demand further medical treatment to the victim.

Your protest letters should be sent to:

1. Pengarah

Penjara Penjara Sungai Buloh
KM 20, Sungai Buloh
47000 Sungai Buloh
Selangor
No. Tel : 03-60384690
No. Fax : 03-60384870

2. Komisioner Jeneral Penjara

Dato’ Hj. Zulkifli bin Omar
Komisioner Jeneral Penjara
Ibu Pejabat Penjara Malaysia,
Kompleks Penjara Malaysia,
Bukit Wira,
Kajang 43000,
Selangor
Telefon: 03 8732 8146
Fax: 03 8739 9205

3. Prime Minister of Malaysia

Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak
Prime Minister of Malaysia,
Prime Minister's Office,
Main Block, Perdana Putra Building ,
Federal Government Administrative Centre,
62502 Putrajaya , MALAYSIA
Tel : 603-8888 8000
Fax : 603-8888 3444
E-Mail: ppm@pmo.gov.my

Sample Letter:

[Letterhead of your organization]

Prime Minister,

Dato' Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak,

Prime Minister's Office,
Main Block, Perdana Putra Building ,
Federal Government Administrative Centre,
62502 Putrajaya , MALAYSIA
Tel : 603-8888 8000
Fax : 603-8888 3444

E-Mail: ppm@pmo.gov. my

Dear Sir,

Re: Assault of Detainees by Prison Wardens and Provide Further Medical Treatment
We are writing to you, to express our concern on the complaint that 27 detainees in Sungai Buluh prison were beaten up by wardens and most of them needed further medical assistance.
We request the Prisons Department to provide immediate medical treatment to the prisoners and urge the Government to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to exercise its power under the Commissions of Enquiry Act 1950 to appoint a Royal Commission to conduct a proper investigation into this incident and other similar incidences that have occurred.
We would like to remind you that the right to life and freedom from torture is part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and guaranteed by the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

Yours sincerely,

[Name]

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Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

Document Type :
Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID :
AHRC-FUA-006-2009
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