Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Teenager's death by police shooting is unacceptable!

Malaysian Bar Council

No. 13, 15 & 17, Leboh Pasar Besar, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 03-2031 3003 (Hunting Line) Fax: 03-2034 2825, 2026 1313, 2072 5818

Press Release

Teenager's death by police shooting is unacceptable!

The Malaysian Bar is appalled that the police have shot and killed a teenager during a police operation. Also troubling is the police’s intolerable and offensive diversion of labelling him a “criminal”, which is geared at fending off blame, and is grossly unfair to his family and wholly irrelevant to the cause of death.

The excessive number of deaths by police shootings cements, in the public mind, the perception that law enforcement officers are either negligent or reckless in the performance of their duties. Nothing less than an immediate, thorough, impartial and transparent investigation that includes a holistic and inclusive examination of all the relevant facts will assuage the public’s concern regarding the integrity and credibility of the police force.

We are heartened that the authorities have reportedly classified the case as one of murder, and that the Deputy Home Minister will head a special panel to investigate the incident. However, the Malaysian Bar reiterates its call for the powers of inquiry under Section 328 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) to be invoked, and for an inquest to be carried out each time there is a fatality in the course of police operations, regardless of the circumstances. It is in the public interest that the circumstances and cause of each such death be established by judicial inquiry and the application of judicial standards.

The police, and the Government, must take urgent action to ensure that justice is done and that stern measures are taken against any officer guilty of misconduct. This matter must be given due priority in order to immediately redress any impunity or abuse of police power.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to Aminulrasyid Amzah’s family and friends.

Ragunath Kesavan
Malaysian Bar

28 April 2010

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