Surendran: Probe prison for Azri’s death in custody

N SurendranKUALA LUMPUR: PKR lawmaker N Surendran has called on the Inspector-General of Police to launch an investigation against the director and officials of the Pengkalan Chepa Prison in Kota Bharu.

This came after the preliminary results of the second post-mortem on Azri Mohamed – who died after he was allegedly abused while in custody earlier this month.

Surendran alleged this second post-mortem revealed Azri was a victim of the prison’s negligence as it showed he died of a bacterial infection.

The Padang Serai lawmaker said the bacterial infection was clearly contracted during Azri’s time in prison.

“He was already in severe pain on Aug 10, but was only taken to the hospital on Aug 15.”

Azri died on Sept 14 after he fell into a coma on Aug 15. He was arrested on July 10 for drug possession.

The first post-mortem had also claimed Azri’s death was caused by an infection.

However, Azmi’s sister Norsyazmira Mohamed was not satisfied as she claimed her brother had alleged he was beaten in prison and requested a second post-mortem be done.

Surendran told reporters today that although the final report of the post-mortem would be completed in about a month, the early results were sufficient to show the prison’s culpability in his death.

“The doctors have concluded the autopsy and our fears have been confirmed. Azri Mohamed need not have died.

“Preliminary results show that he died from a serious bacterial infection that destroyed his intestines.”

Surendran called for an investigation against the prison under Section 340A of the Penal Code, saying Azri’s death pointed to gross negligence on the part of the Prisons Department and the home ministry in turn.

“What we’ve heard from the doctors is that he died from a very easily preventable bacterial infection.

“It became septic and caused his death,” said Surendran.

“He was only 27 years old. A course of simple antibiotics might even have cured him.”

According to Surendran, Azri’s abdomen was completely destroyed by peritonitis, or inflammation of the peritoneum.

“The autopsy raises more questions than answers. How did the prisoner contract this bacteria in prison? Are the other prisoners safe?

“Why did they take so long to bring Azri to hospital? If they had brought him earlier, he would surely have been alive today.”

When asked if Azri had received any treatment while in prison, Surendran pointed out that Azri would only have had access to the prison clinic.
“Whatever treatment he would have received would be from the prison clinic.

“It would have had very limited medication and insufficient facilities for proper treatment,” Surendran said.

The family will be conducting Azri’s final rites tomorrow morning in Kota Bharu.

Surendran said the family is now considering legal action against the prison.