Malaysiakini Letter

Task force needed to probe missing persons

P Uthayakumar  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Open letter to home minister and inspector-general of police

YAB/Y Bhg Tan Sri,

Re: 1. Enforced disappearances and mystery murders in Malaysia?

2. Latest: Two allegedly kidnapped by police and missing for 30 days! Also 10 others!

3.Urgent appointment with IGP/STAFOC as in Kevin Morais case.

We act for Madam Loganayagi a/p Subramaniam (NRIC No:840312075178) and Madam Saraswati a/p Subramaniam (NRIC No: 740310-10-5160) the wife and sister respectively of Manogaran a/l Raja Krishnan (NRIC No: 811215-10-5715) and Ganasan a/l Vyapuri (NRIC No: 810414105297) (hereinafter referred to as the “victims of enforced disappearances” as per the UN Convention. (1)

Our clients instruct us as follows:-

1. That on Aug 22, 2015 the aforesaid victims of enforced disappearances left home one morning, never to return? And it is 30 days today!

2. On the very same day our clients lodged police reports No Kundang/002027/15 and Kundang/002026/15 when their loved ones could not be reached on their mobile phones despite repeated calls.

3. It was our clients’ tow-truck driver friends who went around searching and finally on Aug 26, 2015 found Manogaran’s Toyota Hilux at a spare parts shop in Seri Gombak.

4. On making enquiries, the spare parts shop worker (Chinese) told Madam Loganayagi that three policemen in civil clothes allegedly came in, asked for and took away Manogaran’s identity card, arrested and took him away. The security guard was also told by the said policemen to “belah” after he intervened on hearing the loud protests from Ganasan.

5. On watching the CCTV at the said spare parts shop (recorded at about 1.00pm on Aug 22, 2015) Madam Loganayagi saw four Malay men, one big sized, including one fully uniformed police ASP/chief inspector and three other men in baseball caps also conducting themselves as policemen, arresting and taking away both the said victims of enforced disappearances into their Honda Edition seven (7) seater tinted glass vehicle.

6. Madam Loganayagi lodged police report no. Gombak/008976/15 but which the recording policewoman left out the part on the said police involvement. Our client then lodged another police report No. Gombak/009714/15 wherein she included the actual police involvement.

7. On Aug 26, 2015 Manogaran’s Hilux was recovered by the police forensics Team as was the CCTV recorder. Prior to that our clients had managed to do a recording of the said arrest from the said CCTV monitor via their mobile phones.

8. We commend the police force in swiftly arresting eight (8) suspects to date and within twelve (12) days recovering the body of the late deputy public prosecutor Kevin Morais with “over 50 police (investigators) formed under the Special Task Force on Organised Crime (STAFOC) as well as federal and Kuala Lumpur police serious crimes division scouring the cordoned-off area”. (2)

9. However, save and except for having taken only one brief statement from each of our clients, they have been kept completely in the dark to date.

10. Our clients are disappointed by the very obvious Gombak police inaction. Our clients hereby appeal to your goodselves for a senior investigating officer with the rank of at least a superintendent (non-Indian) from Bukit Aman to take over conduct of this case and heading a STAFOC with the view to investigate and prosecute those responsible to the full extent of the law.

11. We hope your goodselves appreciate our concern that the previously unheard of before enforced disappearances and mysterious murders appears to be becoming a new emerging trend in Malaysia since Bangsar Shans’ as happens and/or is happening as a norm in some other countries especially military dictatorships.

We also call upon your goodselves to investigate the ten (10) other recent cases (since 2009) of enforced disappearances allegedly committed by policemen that has been brought to our attention as per Appendix 1. Anyway why are all 12 victims Malaysian Indians? Soft targets? They are from the most fear-riddled, vulnerable and helpless community?

12. We call upon your goodselves to consider rectifying the aforesaid United Nations International Disappearances Convention 2010 and implementing their proposals. In particular please take note of especially Articles 1, 2 and 3 thereto. (5)

13. We also wish to record our concern on the recent alarming rise in the instances of police shooting dead of suspects, other mysterious shooting dead and death in police and prison custody of helpless and vulnerable victims, all with impunity and with no or very little prosecution.

14. Our clients hereby seek an urgent appointment with the inspector-general of police (IGP), the Federal Criminal Investigations Department (CID) director and the said Bukit Aman investigating officer and our clients would be accompanied by their lawyers. Kindly revert to us.

Thank you. Yours faithfully,

(P Uthayakumar)

Appendix 1

  • In 2009 we have also acted for Bangsar Shan whose dead body was only recovered from a palm oil plantation about one-and-a-half years later.
  • It has also been brought to our attention on the disappearance of five (5) Indian youths (ages between 20 to 28) including Hari, Singam, Mathan and two others who were arrested and handcuffed from Serdang Old Town Café by eleven (11) Malay policemen and never seen or heard after that and also police inaction despite the CCTV recording handed over to the police by the family.
  • In 2013 have also been contacted by the family of Serdang Gopal (K Gobala Guru). (3)
  • In 2014 one Sivaguru was arrested by policemen from his house in Batu Caves and was witnessed by his family.
  • In 2015 one Yugeswaran (21) was arrested by policemen who came in a Proton Preve police car and witnessed by his parents from their house in Batu Caves. We are informed that Yugeswaran was a witness in another kidnap-cum-murder case and within one week of being released from police custody as a witness, his body was found headless in Klang. (4)

1. UN (International Disappearances Convention 2010):The legal term may be clunky - “enforced disappearance” - but the human story is simple: People literally disappear, from their loved ones and their community, when state officials (or someone acting with state consent) grab them from the street or from their homes and then deny it, or refuse to say where they are. It is a crime under international law.Often people are never released and their fate remains unknown. Victims are frequently tortured and in constant fear of being killed. They know their families have no idea where they are and the chances are no one is coming to help.Enforced disappearance is frequently used as a strategy to spread terror within society. The feeling of insecurity and fear it generates is not limited to the close relatives of the disappeared, but also affects communities and society as a whole. Family and friends of people who have disappeared experience slow mental anguish. Not knowing whether their son or daughter, mother or father is still alive. Not knowing where he or she is being held, or how they are being treated. Searching for the truth may put the whole family in great danger.On top of this, when a key family member disappears, financial security can disintegrate. The disappeared person is often the family’s main breadwinner, the only one able to cultivate the crops or run the family business.

2. New Straits Times Sept 17, 2015 at page 12.

3. See Malaysiakini

4. Reported in the Tamil Press.

5. Legislate to make the International Convention national law. Implement the International Convention and accept the competency of the Committee on Enforced Disappearances. Live up to their obligations under international law. Make sure survivors and people who have lost their loved ones receive reparation - this includes compensation, rehabilitation, restitution and a guarantee that it won’t happen again.

Article 1 No one shall be subjected to enforced disappearance.

Article 2 For the purposes of this Convention, ‘enforced disappearance’ is considered to be the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the state or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorisation, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law.

Article 3 Each State Party shall take appropriate measures to investigate acts defined in article 2 committed by persons or groups of persons acting without the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State and to bring those responsible to justice.

P UTHAYAKUMAR is de facto leader, Hindraf.

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