KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 ― The family of a man who died in police custody is now demanding the intervention of Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar for a second autopsy to be performed.
According to Selangor state executive councillor Ronnie Liu, the letter by the family of Chang Chin Te was faxed to Bukit Aman this morning through lawyers Gobind Singh Deo and R. Sivarasa, who are representing the deceased’s family.
“We want an immediate response from the IGP. We suspect that the cause of death was abuse,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
Liu added that the hospital has agreed to place the body at its mortuary “on humanitarian grounds” pending further development on the request for a second autopsy.
He said the Selangor DAP Socialist Youth will hold a protest over the matter outside Bukit Aman at 1pm together with Chang Te’s father, Chang Chan Man.
Chin Te died in custody while being held at the USJ 8 police station on Monday, where he had been detained since last Thursday on suspicion of burglary.
His family members allege to have discovered wounds and bruises on his body when they went to claim the remains at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (PPUM).
The 30-year-old leaves behind a wife and four young children.
A previous United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention visit to Malaysian prisons and detention centres reported that, between 2003 and 2007, “over 1,500 people died while being held by authorities”.
It is not known how many cases of custodial deaths have occurred since.
But such deaths rarely result in the prosecution of those responsible for the inmates and detainees during the incidents.
A recent case involving the custodial death of suspected car thief A. Kugan saw the prosecution of just one police officer, Constable V. Navindran, who was subsequently acquitted. No other individual has since been held accountable.
Other high-profile cases of custodial deaths include that of Teoh Beng Hock and Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamed, both of whom died while under the care of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).