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aws全区号(www.2km.me)_Concerns over watered-down bill on police oversight body

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TODAY, we – Amnesty International Malaysia, ARTICLE 19, CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation and Human Rights Watch – call on lawmakers in Malaysia to reject the deeply flawed Independent Police Conduct Commission (IPCC) bill and move quickly to table a bill to establish a police accountability mechanism that is truly independent and capable of ensuring adequate police oversight.

The IPCC bill is expected to be tabled for its second reading in the current parliamentary sitting. While there is little doubt that Malaysia desperately needs an independent oversight commission for the police, the IPCC bill, first tabled in August last year, further weakens the already anaemic oversight mechanism currently in place and must be rejected.

The bill fails to address widespread public concerns about police misconduct, ongoing misuse of power against government critics, and custodial deaths. If passed, the bill would not, as the government states, promote accountability, but rather shield police officers from scrutiny and independent oversight.

Abuse of police power in Malaysia

Malaysia has a long history of police abuse, including the excessive use of force, torture, ill-treatment, harassment, and deaths in custody. Human rights violations by police officers have been documented by both national and international civil society groups.

Police have also abused their power to restrict freedom of expression and assembly in Malaysia. The space for peaceful protests has shrunk considerably. Police personnel continue to harass those criticising government officials and have arbitrarily arrested peaceful protesters under the guise of dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

The aggressive application of the Sedition Act 1948, in particular against government critics, is another abuse of police power frequently witnessed. Between January and August 2021, civil societies documented investigations under the Sedition Act being opened by police in 17 cases involving 37 individuals in total. The recent investigations of #Lawan protest organisers under the Sedition Act are another worrying example of police overstep to the detriment of human rights.

The Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 is also frequently used by police to censor human rights defenders, journalists, artists, political opponents and ordinary members of the public who have been critical of the police, government officials or Malaysian royalty, or shared opinions about issues deemed sensitive by the government, such as race and religion.

Police misconduct and violence

This year alone we have seen multiple alarming custodial deaths. In January, former police volunteer reservist Mohd Afis Ahmad died from blunt force trauma to the head just a day after he was arrested. In another case in April, milk trader A. Ganapathy was admitted to the intensive care unit upon his release after 12 days in police custody, where he later died. Autopsy results revealed he died from complications arising from injuries on his legs and shoulders, believed to have been sustained while in police custody. In May, security guard S. Sivabalan died about 70 minutes after he was arrested by police, allegedly of a heart attack. Promised investigations into each of the above cases appear not to have made any progress. 

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