Press Statement by Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy on 9 August 2014

 

Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy welcomes the decision of the court of appeal on 8 August 2014, which upheld the high court ruling that the former Selangor Police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar and his police officers must responsible for the custodial death of A. Kugan in 2009.

By affirmation of high court and court of appeal, we urge the federal government to suspend the current Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar immediately for his failure to ensure Kugan’s safety while under police detention. The police force must comply with international standard human rights practice that stipulated in United Nation’s Convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

As one of the top police officers in the country, Khalid must also be charged for giving false public statement aimed at denying the police’s responsibility over Kugan’s death.

Kugan was detained at Taipan police station on 14 January 2009 in relation to investigations of alleged car theft, he died five days later in the police custody.

Right after Kugan’s death in custody, Khalid Abu Bakar reported that Kugan collapsed shortly after drinking water due to asthmatic attack. Later, he announced that the post-mortem report stated the cause of death was due to water in his lungs. In contrary, the second post mortem revealed by pathologist Dr. Prashant that Kugan had 45 external injuries and numerous internal injuries. This shows that Khalid Abu Bakar was blatantly lying to cover up wrongdoings of police officers and against professional ethic of civil servant.

We applaud the statement by the court of appeal judges that the government should have zero tolerance towards death in custody and public inquiry must be held to investigate custodial death cases.

We urge the government to organize roundtable discussion with human rights and professional organisations to discuss the mechanism and criteria of the coroner courts that newly set up by the government, this is to ensure that the coroner courts could operate independently and professionally, to act as an institution to reveal truth over mysterious death and to check police force from abusing the detainees in the lock-ups.

Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy was established on 16 July 2014 to make the legacy of Mr Teoh Beng Hock an invaluable asset to Malaysian society by working towards a democratic nation free from political persecution, torture and human rights violation

 

Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy