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‘PSM detainees subject to inhuman interrogation’

 | July 1, 2011

The PSM detainees have undergone inhuman interrogation at the hands of the police, claims PSM secretary-general S.Arutchelvan.

GEORGE TOWN: Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) claims the 30 detainees have been subjected to inhuman interrogation and treatment in the police lock-ups.

Its secretary-general S Arutchelvan said a special team from Bukit Aman have been brought in to question the detainees for long hours.

He said PSM learnt that the police officers were brought in specifically to extract information as the detainees have all preferred to use their rights to speak only to the court and not to the police.

He added that information from reliable sources had disclosed that the police have failed to make any headway in their investigation thus far, hence they have brought Bukit Aman officers in a last- minute bid to extract information from the detainees.

“PSM wants the detainees to be either charged immediately, or released unconditionally or at least be placed on police bail.

“We also call for an immediate end to all types of harassment, torture and inhumane treatment on the detainees,” Arutchelvan said in a statement.

Among those detained were Sungai Siput MP Dr D Michael Jeyakumar, party national deputy chairman M Saraswathy, national Youth chief R Sarathbabu, central committee members Choo Chon Kai and M Sukumaran, and Sungai Siput branch secretary A Letchumanan.

The 30 were detained at Sungai toll plaza while travelling in a chartered tour bus from Kedah to Penang on the North-South Expressway at 4pm last Saturday.

They were remanded for seven days, which ends tomorrow, to assist police investigation under Section 122 of the Penal Code for allegedly waging war against the King.

The detainees were kept in several police lock-ups including in state headquarters, northern Seberang Perai (SPU) district headquarters and Butterworth police station.

It’s learnt the police would decide today on whether to extend their remand or release them.

The High Court here yesterday dismissed an application by the detainees for a judicial revision to quash the seven-day remand.

Arutchelvan said that PSM was shocked when it learnt the detainees were tortured by the Bukit Aman special team, including putting them in solitary confinement .

“This practice is illegal but commonly used by the police,” he alleged.

Racist language

He said the detainees were also interrogated for long hours daily between 9am and 5pm and were denied legal representation by lawyers.

“In spite of their right to engage legal counsel, all detainees but two, have been denied the right to meet lawyers,” he said.

He said the detainees were also denied visits by their family members and relatives.

He added that the police have stated that they were denied visitation right because the investigation was not over and that the detainees were not being cooperative.

Arutchelvan said the detainees were also denied proper medical care and treatment despite suffering poor health, and were also denied basic items such as soap and tooth paste.

He said some detainees, who needed special food due to their health conditions, were denied this food and given common food like the other detainees.

“Water was provided only during meals while some Hindus were given beef to eat,” he alleged.

Arutchelvan said PSM had received information that the Bukit Aman interrogation team had used foul and racist languages such as “pariah” against the detainees.

PSM calls on Malaysian Human Rights Commission or Suhakam and international human rights bodies to intervene and stop these blatant violations of rights.

“PSM would hold Penang CPO deputy commissioner Ayub Yaakob, Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar and the Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein responsible if anything happens to our comrades,” said Arutchelvan.


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