Demand S’wak CP resign over minor raped in lock-up
Published on: Wednesday, January 20, 2021
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PETALING JAYA: A non-governmental organisation has called for the resignation of Sarawak police Commissioner Aidi Ismail (pic) over the rape of a minor in a police lock-up in Miri.

Eliminating Deaths and Abuse In Custody Together (Edict) said in a statement that it was “shocked and disappointed” with Aidi’s statement that the CCTV cameras in the lock-up had no recording function.

“Is the Sarawak police commissioner not aware that the government in May 2013 had made it mandatory to place CCTV cameras in all lock-ups in order to ensure detainee movements are recorded?

“We question how a police commissioner does not know or is unaware of the safety features of detention centres under his care.”

It went on to say that placing CCTV cameras in lock-ups was a measure that could “kill two birds with one stone”, namely, to ensure the safety of detainees and prevent allegations of wrongdoing or misconduct against the police.

CCTV recordings, it said, would be vital to validate claims of abuse in lock-ups and custodial deaths.

Edict also hit out at the decision to allow the rape case to be investigated by Aidi’s deputy, Fisol Salleh. 

It asked why a police task force from outside Sarawak was not formed to probe the matter to ensure transparency and prevent any bias.

“This should have been carried out in order to regain public faith and confidence.”

Edict said that, to date, Aidi had not responded to its queries on the arrest of the minor, which it claimed did not adhere to the Child Act 2001.

Aidi’s statement on the case, it added, raised many doubts and questions as to how police, especially in Sarawak, carried out their duties. It raised doubts about his credibility, it added.

“In the circumstances, we urge the Sarawak police commissioner to resign with immediate effect based on his failure to uphold his duties and to prevent the crime against the minor in this case.”

Police chiefs nationwide, it said, must be cognisant of what was needed in all lock-ups under their care, especially where it involved detainees’ safety.

Two police personnel have been suspended over the incident.

Meanwhile, an assemblyman has questioned how it was possible for policemen on duty not to be aware about the rape involving a minor in their police station.

On Jan 9, a 16-year-old girl was allegedly raped by another inmate while being held in a police lock-up at the Miri police station. 

The girl was reportedly taken out of her cell by the inmate and then raped in the station’s toilet.

The case, highlighted by DAP senator Alan Ling, allegedly took place between 4am and 5am, a day after the teenager was picked up in a gambling raid.

Bukit Assek assemblyman Irene Chang said rape was an offence which cannot be committed in seconds nor can it be committed without any physical struggle in most cases, which would surely have alerted those nearby due to the commotion.

“It is therefore inconceivable that the incident could happen under the so-called supervision of these officers without anyone coming to the help of the victim.

“Besides, how did the suspect, who was an inmate there, get a hold of the key to the girl’s lock-up and was able to commit the rape without attracting attention?

“What is most unacceptable, in this incident, was the fact that the suspect had the audacity to commit the offence in the police station, which is supposed to represent a place where law is upheld,” she said in a statement.

Chang said the incident was the reason why the public has no confidence in the police’s ability to protect them from harm or crimes committed against them.

She urged the police to investigate the case without fear or favour even against one of their own.

The police should also clarify why the closed-circuit television camera in the lock-up did not have a recording function, said Chang.


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