Suhakam: Use of physical torture on police detainees still rampant
KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 — Use of physical torture to extract information from detainees is still widely employed as a police interrogation tactic, the National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) said in its report on custodial deaths released today.
The commission said most of the detainees interviewed claimed to have been abused or witnessed violence committed on fellow detainees by police officers, whom had also admitted to the offence.
"We found that violence perpetrated by police officers remains rampant, especially during arrests and interrogation of detainees.
"This is proven by PDRM statistics, the coroner's court results and the report by the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC)," the report said.
Suhakam reported that there had been 255 deaths in police detention from 2000 to 2014 but only two were caused by police abuse.
But the commission's vice-president Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee, at the unveiling of its 2015 human rights report, said the numbers were only based on data provided by the police.
The issue of deaths in police detention made headlines last year after opposition lawmakers highlighted the problem in Parliament and called for laws to be enacted to hold police officers and the government liable for such cases.
Suhakam noted in its report that senior police officials have also admitted during interviews with the commission that physical torture during interrogation remains in practice.
It added, however, that the same officials also claimed that the use of violence have reduced with a new generation of officers who are trained to respect detainee rights taking over the force.