Detainee Abuse by Malaysian Police

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Malaysian lock-up detainee abuse scandal (also known as Squatgate) is a scandal involving the abuse allegations of detainees (initially Chinese citizens) under the care of the Royal Malaysian Police (Malay: Polis Di-Raja Malaysia, or PDRM) which occurred in 2005.

The scandal began with complaints from two Chinese female citizens about being stripped, having their breasts groped, and being forced to do squats (this has been described as 'ear squats' in most reports, meaning they were touching their ears as they did squats). Member of Parliament (MP) Teresa Kok of the Democratic Action Party accompanied one of them to lodge a police report. Later that month, Kok was given a video compact disc (VCD) by an anonymous whistle-blower that contained a video depicting a female police officer ordering a female detainee, now identified as Hemy Hamisa Abu Hassan Saari, do ear squats in the nude. Kok later showed the video to some other MPs, triggering shock and outrage.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi insisted that there would be no cover-up, and his deputy, Najib Tun Razak, said the same. Initially the federal Deputy Inspector General, Musa Hassan, made remarks to a similar effect, but also defended the ear squats as "standard procedure". He later stated, "It is the perpetrator behind the video clip whom we are after and not the policewoman, who was carrying out a routine check." His comments led the leaders of all three opposition parties and an MP from the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition to call for Musa's resignation or dismissal.

Deputy Internal Security Minister Noh Omar also stirred up controversy when he told foreigners upset about the scandal to "go home". He later made an apology, saying that he was misunderstood. However a recording of his remarks indicated that he was not misquoted or taken out of context. An independent commission was later set up under Abdullah's orders to investigate the scandal.


1 comment: