Custodial deaths continue under Harapan

Nathaniel Tan

Modified 8 Jan 2019, 4:24 am

COMMENT | My first article in 2017 was on deaths in custody. In 2019, the subject is sadly still relevant, so my first article this year will keep with the tradition.

There was a long stretch after the 14th general election, in which there were no known reports of deaths in detention. We must note as a caveat, however, that just because we didn’t hear of any, it doesn’t mean that none occurred. Still, we took it as a positive sign.

Sadly, this changed by September last year. Since then, civil society has come to learn of at least three deaths in custody. There has also been at least one known case of alleged severe beating and torture of a Sosma detainee.

Lest they are forgotten, let us review what we know of these cases. The information here is gathered by the NGO Eliminating Deaths and Abuse in Custody Together (Edict), and pieced together largely from police reports made by family members of the victims...

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