The latest ‘death in police custody’ case : Eli Wong speaks

Posted on June 15, 2009



Below is the full text of the press statement issued by Yang Berkhidmat Elizabeth Wong today


Death in Custody in DUN Bukit Lanjan

It is with grave concern that yet another person has been found dead in police custody in Selangor, this time in my constituency of Bukit Lanjan.

Mr. A. Ghana Prakasom Anthony, a resident of Damansara Damai was found dead at the Sri Damansara Police Station at 8.06 am on Sunday, 14 June 2009. He leaves behind a wife and 6 children. He was arrested on Wednesday, 10 June 2009 .

The deceased’s wife was able to see him on Friday, 12 June 2009. During her visit, A. Ghana informed her that he had complained the magistrate who heard his remand that he was beaten in police custody. Further, his wife reported to me that her husband had a bruised right eye during her visit.

Ghana’s wife was then informed by the police that her husband was expected to be released on Monday without charges. Thus, it is shocking that a day before he is due for release, he was found dead in the lockup.

It is immaterial whether the suspect has a police record or not; a suspect is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. One expects the police to be fully responsible for the well-being and fair treatment of suspects while being in their custody.

I urge the Minister for Home Affairs to investigate this case thoroughly, without favour or fear, and for all police officers on duty during the days when A. Ghana had reported he was beaten in the lockup, leading to his demise, to be suspended pending the investigation.

I urge for a Royal Commission of Inquiry on Deaths in Police Custody to be formed, for the numbers of persons dying in police custody is a matter of national concern.

I join my fellow Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen in urging for the formation of the Independent Police Complaint and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) and a coroner’s court to arrest this problem. It is our collective wish that after this tragic incident, no other person would enter into a police lockup and come out in a body bag.