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Vaksin: Kerajaan pertimbang cadangan SUHAKAM

KUALA LUMPUR: Kerajaan sedang mempertimbangkan cadangan Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (SUHAKAM) supaya vaksin Covid-19 turut diberikan secara percuma kepada individu tanpa warga negara termasuk pelarian, tahanan dan banduan.

Timbalan Menteri Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi, Ahmad Amzad Hashim, berkata usaha bagi membendung virus Covid-19 sepenuhnya sukar dicapai sekiranya vaksin hanya diberi kepada rakyat Malaysia sahaja.

“Covid-19 tidak kira sama ada pelarin atau warganegara, ia (Covid-19) boleh berjangkit kepada siapa sahaja termasuk rakyat kita.

“Maka, secara umumnya kemungkinan besar semua yang ada dalam negara ini sama ada berstatus warganegara atau tidak, mungkin akan dipertimbangkan.

“Namun, ia tertakluk kepada keputusan akhir (Jemaah Kabinet) kerana mesti ada mekanisme untuk berunding dengan negara asal pelarian ini,” katanya kepada pemberita yang turut disiarkan secara langsung di berita RTM, hari ini.

Bagaimanapun, Amzad memberi jaminan bahawa rakyat Malaysia akan diberi keutamaan dalam penerimaan vaksin Covid-19 ini.

Mengulas berhubung bekalan satu juta dos vaksin Pfizer-BioNTech yang bakal diterima negara pada penghujung Februari depan, Amzad berkata persediaan dari segi logistik untuk penerimaan dan pengedaran telah dilakukan.

Menurutnya, ia merangkumi tempat penyimpanan dan penghantaran bekalan vaksin khususnya ke kawasan pedalaman dan yang sukar diakses.

Tambahnya lagi, raptai logistik untuk memastikan kelancaran pengedaran vaksin akan dilakukan di Belaga, Sarawak Jumaat ini.

HARAKAHDAILY 28/1/2021

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Suhakam has no legal power to probe custodial deaths, says NGO

PETALING JAYA: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) should stop inquiring into custodial deaths as the matter does not come under its purview, a non-governmental organisation says.

Eliminating Deaths and Abuse in Custody Together (EDICT) chairman M Visvanathan said Suhakam was set up pursuant to a law passed by Parliament for the purpose of protecting and promoting human rights in Malaysia.

“It can only hold inquiries on complaints of human rights infringements at its own initiative or on complaints lodged by the aggrieved persons,” he said.

For example, he said, Suhakam could investigate if an unhealthy detainee died because no timely medical assistance was provided.

He said Section 12(2) of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act states that the commission shall not inquire into any complaint when a matter was before a judicial inquiry.

Further, he said, investigations into custodial deaths were solely within the purview and functions of the coroner’s court under the Criminal Procedure Code.

Visvanathan, who is a lawyer, said this in response to Suhakam’s findings released yesterday into several issues involving deaths in police lock-ups and detention centres.

In the case of G Jestus Kevin, who was found dead in a Bentong police station lock-up last year, the report said the victim succumbed to meningoencephalitis (brain inflammation) with multiple blunt force trauma.

Kevin, 30, was nabbed on April 2 for alleged theft and was found dead on April 5.

Suhakam said the medical report showed that he suffered many injuries, including a broken rib.

“A fellow inmate had testified that the deceased was tied with a blanket and beaten by other inmates and a police officer. This has also been confirmed through CCTV footage of the lock-up,” Suhakam commissioner Jerald Joseph said at a online press conference.

Visvanathan, who is representing Kevin’s family in an ongoing inquest in Kuantan, said he has also sent a letter to Suhakam.

He said only a coroner, after a court inquiry, could determine why, when and under what circumstances a detainee died in a police lock-up, prison or a mental asylum.

“The inquest finding is subject to review by the High Court and the victim’s family can also rely on the coroner’s verdict to sue the government for negligence,” he said, adding that Suhakam’s report had no legal effect.

Free Malaysia Today

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Suhakam reports forced conversion of Sarawakian native children over Mykad blunder

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has called for immediate legal remedy to conversion involving minors after receiving complaints of indigenous children in Sarawak being forced to observe Islamic rituals.

Suhakam said much of the problem stemmed from interfaith marriages in which one of the spouses no longer wishes to practise Islamic teachings, often leading in their children being registered as Muslims despite being raised as followers of other faiths.

Critics have long cited the legal wrangle around the wedlock between partners of different faiths as the root cause of many explosive interfaith disputes that have strained race relations over the years.

“There were issues like pupils being forced to wear the baju kurung and veil just because Islam is stated in their MyKad,” the commission said in a Zoom press conference.

“They are also forced to attend religious classes at both the primary and secondary school level when in reality they never practiced Islamic teachings since they were young,” it added.

“This is a problem that in most cases arises from the divorce of parents who are Muslims (merely) by marriage. At the end the children become victims.”

Malaysia requires its citizens to carry identification cards which has their faith stated on it.

But vague policies and the politicisation of religion have led to conflicting administration on registration matters, often with severe ramifications for minorities, their children and even non-Muslim natives despite their special status as Bumiputera, rights groups have pointed out in the past.

Suhakam cited various complaints in Sarawak where indigenous people have had their Mykad stated Muslim by mistake because their names have bin or binti, common among Christian Bumiputera who practise their faith in Bahasa Melayu, the national language.

“When a few individuals of indigenous ethnicities or communities wanted to change to a new MyKad, applicants who are not Muslims or have never practiced the Islamic faith have their status changed to Islam (Muslim) just because their names have bin or binti,” it said.

Commissioner Madeline Berma noted the problem is usually human error on the part of JPN.

“It’s a straightforward administrative issue,” Berma said at the press conference.

“We’ve spoken with the Minister of Religious Affairs (Datuk Zulkifli Mohamad) and he told us it’s an administrative issue,” she added.

Suhakam said the complaints again underscored the need for clear laws to address interfaith matters particularly around conversion.

It also called for clear guidelines from the Education Ministry to prevent minority children from being forced to attend religious classes.

Rights groups alleged previous Barisan Nasional administrations lacked the political will to solve the matter for fear of upsetting its Malay-Muslim powerbase.

In 2017, the BN administration withdrew a landmark Bill from Parliament that would have prohibited the religious conversion of children to Islam with the consent of just one parent following protest from conservative Muslims.

Malay Mail

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SUHAKAM dedah kekejaman dalam sel, CCTV tak berfungsi

PETALING JAYA: Insiden polis mengikat dan memukul seorang tahanan yang juga pesakit mental dan CCTV tidak berfungsi, semestinya mengundang persoalan dari sudut integriti – antara isu yang cuba ditangani Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (SUHAKAM) dalam laporannya hari ini.

Menerusi dapatannya berhubung beberapa isu membabitkan insiden di lokap polis dan pusat tahanan, SUHAKAM mengetengahkan kes kematian seorang lelaki berusia 30 tahun dalam tahanan di lokap balai polis Bentong pada 2020.

SUHAKAM berkata, mangsa, G Jestus Kevin ditahan pada 2 April kerana disyaki mencuri dan ditemui mati pada 5 Apr.

Menurut laporan, kematian itu disebabkan oleh meningoencephalitis (keradangan otak) dengan beberapa kesan kecederaan akibat objek tumpul.

Katanya, laporan perubatan menunjukkan mangsa mengalami banyak kecederaan termasuk patah tulang rusuk.

“Seorang tahanan telah memberi keterangan bahawa si mati diikat dengan selimut dan dipukul oleh tahanan lain dan seorang polis.

“Ia turut disahkan melalui rakaman CCTV di lokap terbabit,” kata Pesuruhjaya SUHAKAM Jerald Joseph dalam sidang media maya.

Laporan itu menyebut, mangsa tidak stabil secara mental dan didapati membuat bising, bercakap sendirian, memanjat tembok dan cuba membunuh diri.

“SUHAKAM berpendapat bahawa si mati seharusnya dihantar ke hospital untuk mendapatkan rawatan. Sebaliknya, si mati terus ditahan dan menjadi mangsa kecederaan yang disebabkan oleh tahanan lain di lokap. ”

Katanya, penemuan itu mengesyorkan tindakan tegas yang bersesuaian dengan undang-undang terhadap semua yang terlibat mencederakan mangsa.

Isu CCTV yang sering rosak dan tidak berfungsi di balai polis sering ditimbulkan, terutama selepas kejadian seorang gadis berusia 16 tahun yang diperkosa oleh seorang tahanan lelaki ketika ditahan di lokap balai polis Miri .

Joseph berkata, ini bukan kes terpencil. “Ada banyak balai polis lain yang tidak memiliki CCTV yang berfungsi.”

Katanya, CCTV juga penting bagi polis untuk mempertahankan diri daripada sebarang tuduhan. “Dengan CCTV, polis dapat menjaga integriti mereka.”

Penemuan ini turut menyentuh mengenai isu penyakit berjangkit di penjara dan pusat tahanan.

“SUHAKAM mendapati kebanyakan pusat tahanan di Malaysia, terutama penjara dan depot imigresen mempunyai kes penyakit kulit berjangkit, seperti kudis dan Hepatitis C dalam kalangan tahanan,” katanya.

Beliau percaya ini disebabkan oleh masalah kesesakan di pusat tersebut dan telah mengesyorkan “dekriminalisasi” terhadap penggunaan dadah dapat menyelesaikan masalah tersebut.

Free Malaysia Today

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Suhakam: Cop bribed detainees with cigarettes to beat up man who died in Bentong police station

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 — The National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) said today G. Jestus Kevin had been assaulted by other detainees before he died at the Bentong district police headquarters in Pahang last year, a case that prompted public uproar.

The 30-year-old man died of multiple blunt force trauma, cardiomyopathy and liver steatosis, according to forensic results that point to injuries sustained by the assault.

The commission’s investigation found the detainees had likely acted on police encouragement. Kevin was said to have suffered from mental illnesses and had been delirious while in detention, which prompted an officer to order other detainees to “calm him down.”

Suhakam said eyewitnesses reported Kevin being tied by a blanket and then beaten up by several other detainees, some of whom had been bribed with cigarettes.

Closed-circuit television footage confirmed their account of the incident, the commission noted.

“The forensic results found the deceased had died of ‘meningoencephalitis with multiple blunt force trauma’ and ‘cardiomyopathy and liver steatosis’,” Suhakam said in a written briefing made available to the press.

“Suhakam through statements provided by the forensic doctors can confirm that the deceased had sustained many injuries, including broken ribs,” it added.

Kevin was arrested and detained on suspicion of theft on April 2. He was found dead three days after.

Suhakam said there was clear negligence on the part of the police who failed to provide help to a detainee who suffered from mental health conditions.

“This is because for the entire duration he was in lockup, he was said to have made noises, talked to himself, climbed the walls, jumped and even attempted to commit suicide,” the commission noted.

“Suhakam is of the opinion that the deceased should have been sent to the hospital to get treatment from a medical officer based on his actions and the unstable mental state he was in,” it added.

“Instead, he was immediately detained and eventually became the victim of violence by other detainees.”

The commission has called for swift justice and stern action against Kevin’s assailants while urging the government to remedy the longstanding problems around police professionalism and logistical inadequacy.

“We have identified the detainees and police officers believed to have assaulted the deceased while in custody,” it said.

“Therefore, stern action in accordance with the law must be exacted on all of those involved.”  

Malay Mail

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Concerns raised by Rulers timely, say moderates

PETALING JAYA: Moderates have welcomed the concerns raised by the Malay Rulers about the country’s unity and harmony, hailing them as being timely.

Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said the recent actions and statements in the name of Islam, which have the effects of portraying Islam as an intolerant and factious religion, contradicted the aspirations of the Federal Constitution and the Rukunegara… [read more]

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Witnesses will have to testify

KOTA KINABALU: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) will subpoena those who refuse to show up for public hearings aimed at finding answers to the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh, social activist Amri Che Mat, Pastor Joshua Hilmi and his wife Ruth Hilmi, although it does not have the power to prosecute.Suhakam Commissioner Dato Mah Weng Kai, who will chair a three-member panel in the public inquiry, said letters have been issued to 24 witnesses and hoped they will come voluntarily… [read more]

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Suhakam to hold public inquiry over missing pastors, activists

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 ― The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) will hold public hearings on the disappearances of Pastor Raymond Koh, social activist Amri Che Mat, Pastor Joshua Hilmi and his wife Ruth Hilmi.

The inquiry will seek to determine whether the missing people are victims of “enforced disappearances” or “involuntary disappearances in breach or breaches of the criminal and/or civil law and/or applicable human rights laws”… [read more]