GEORGE TOWN: Exactly a week ago, chicken seller and former police volunteer reservist Mohd Afis Ahmad was brought to his house in handcuffs after being arrested for allegedly impersonating a policeman.
The following day, on Jan 28, he was dead.
His family in Gurun, Kedah, now wants answers as to how the 31-year-old died in a police lock-up in Yan last week.
They said their pleas to get proper answers had fallen on deaf ears.
Afis, 31, was declared dead by police last Thursday and a post-mortem found that he had died due to blunt force trauma to the head.
He had two children, aged 12 and 9, with his wife, who had separated from him.
According to his father Ahmad Daud, 64, Afis was arrested on Jan 27 at a friend’s house in Jeniang and brought to their house in Kampung Pulau Chengai in Gurun at about 6pm.
Ahmad said six men in plainclothes, claiming to be cops, accompanied Afis, who had his hands cuffed behind his back. The cops then proceeded to search the house for about 30 minutes.
Ahmad said police did not take anything from the home. Afis, he said, was seen bleeding from the back of his head and his ear.
One of the cops told Afis’ mother, Asnah Ahmad, who was at home at the time, that he was detained for impersonating a cop.
The policemen later checked if a motorcycle parked outside their house was stolen. However, it was not seized after checks showed it had not been reported stolen. Ahmad said the bike belonged to Afis’ friend.
The next day, Ahmad received a phone call from Afis’ mobile phone from an “Inspector Amri” at the Yan district police headquarters, informing him that his son had died. He did not give further details.
A family member then rushed to the Yan Hospital and was told that Afis’ body had been sent to the Alor Setar Hospital for post-mortem.
Ahmad then went to the Yan police station to seek an explanation on the circumstances surrounding Afis’ death and was told he had died in lock-up. The policemen then asked Ahmad to return home.
The following day, on Jan 29, the family was allowed to see Afis’ body, and they claim his head had been battered.
Ahmad said that until today, Afis’ personal effects such as his mobile phone and wallet had yet to be returned to the family.
The family also learnt that from Jan 30 to Feb 1, police had called Afis’ friends and had asked them to be present at the police station for a discussion.
“He is such a young boy. I feel very sad. I want justice for my kid. I want a proper investigation,” Asnah said, holding back tears.
The family narrated their experience during a press conference hosted online by Eliminating Deaths and Abuse in Custody Together (EDICT).
EDICT’s M Visvanathan said Afis’ death should not have taken place during detention and urged the family to call for an inquest to ascertain the cause of death.
He said if there was evidence that Afis had been assaulted, then the policemen responsible should be charged in court.
When contacted, Yan police chief Shahnaz Akhtar said Afis’ death is being investigated and police are awaiting the post-mortem report.