Suaram decries ‘police extortionists’

The NGO criticises the police force for their alleged practice of seeking cash in exchange for information or other favours from family members of those detained.

Teoh El Sen, FMT

Suaram lambasted the police over what appears to be a prevailing culture of their officers requesting bribes from family members in exchange for information on the whereabouts of their detained loved ones.

The latest allegation involves the wife of death in custody victim, P Chandran, who said she was asked to pay RM300 for information on her husband just before he died in detention.

N Selvi said she attempted to check with the police on the whereabouts of her husband so that she could pass him medication for hypertension problem.

“Suaram is gravely concerned at the steady repetition of corrupt practices by the police,” said Suaram coordinator R Thevarajan.

He said that this was not the first time such allegations have been brought to Suaram’s attention.

In one instance, said Thevarajan, police had requested RM13,000 as “release fee” from parents of teenagers detained under the Emergency Ordinance in 2011.

He also said that according to Suaram’s records, police have, throughout the years, never claimed any responsibility for the death of detainees.

“Suaram is perturbed at the cause of death and recounts that every death-in-custody was either attributed to the victim’s health or passed off as a case of accident,” he said.

Thuggish attitude

Suaram wants the officer-in-charge of the Dang Wangi lock-up, where Chandran was detained, to produce his daily journal for “scrutiny and an independent inquest”.