ON May 21, 2013, M. Dharmendran died while under police custody. In addition to multiple bruises all over his body, they found staples on his ear and his ankle.
Yes, staples [ [ [ [ [ [
Then there was C Sugumar, who had tumeric powder smeared on his face, and beaten up while in handcuffs. He was dead on arrival. This year alone, there have been eight recorded cases of custodial deaths, three of them happening within a span of two weeks.
It has been five years since Teoh Beng Hock was found dead at the base of the MACC office in Shah Alam where he had been summoned the day before. That same day, July 16, 31-year-old P. Gunasegaran died inside Sentul police station. Despite the wave of public horror and demands for humane treatment by the authorities for people in custody, the deaths continue year after year. Calls for action are met with silence; to describe the reaction as arrogance is being kind.
Yet the dead cannot be forgotten, the fathers, brothers and sons who were betrayed by an institution set up to protect their safety.
This Tuesday, July 16, 2013, for the fourth year running, we invite you to a memorial for those who died in custody. May we renew the resolve to see to a time when these institutions respect human lives.
Details are as follows:
Memorial by the River
Date: July 16, 2013
Place: Bar Council carpark (behind Annexe Gallery), Leboh Pasar Besar, KL
Candles will be provided.