Thursday, February 18, 2010

Assaulted teen’s dad wants cops to explain.

By Stephanie Sta Maria  |   Thu, Feb 18, 2010  FMT Team

image-1 KUALA LUMPUR: The father of an 18-year-old teenager who was allegedly detained and beaten up by the Sentul police is demanding to know why no charges were filed against his allegedly errant son.

Syed Zain Syed Baharom is also demanding an apology and an explanation of  why his son, Syed Khairizwan, was arrested last Friday.

“I want an apology,” said Syed Zain. “I want justice for my son.”

He said he had lodged a report and given the police a full statement.
The investigation officer, Inspector Elvis image-2Moore, told him police would conduct an internal inquiry and provide him with the findings by March 3, he added.

The Sentul police station, when contacted, denied knowledge of Syed Khairizwan’s alleged arrest and assault.

Syed Khairizwan claimed he was waiting at the Sentul Star LRT station for his father to pick him up  at 10pm last Friday, as he often did, when a white van pulled up in front of him and four men in civilian clothes jumped out and grabbed hold of him.

He said he feared he was being abducted and struggled to break free, but the men managed to drag him into the van, handcuffed him and proceeded to assault him as they drove off.

image-3 When Khairizwan’s father arrived at the LRT station, he rang his son’s mobile phone, but it  went unanswered. After several more tries, a policeman answered and instructed him to make his way to the Sentul police station where Khairizwan was being held, he said.

He said that when he met Khairizwan at the station, he was barefoot and his shirt was torn and his face bruised.

“He was traumatised and cowering in fear.  The police wanted a urine sample but I refused. I told them my son was not a drug addict. They eventually let him go. There was no charge and no explanation as to why he was arrested.”
Syed Zain has since written a letter of complaint to the head of the Sentul police department, seeking an explanation, an apology and compensation for medical fees incurred.

Meanwhile Shahriman Latif, a legal officer at the Bar Council Legal Aid Centre in Selangor,  said police officers, whether in or out of uniform, must show civilians some form of identification before questioning them.

“As a civilian, you are only obliged to provide your name, MyKad and home address. If the police question you further, you have the right to ask whether you are under arrest, on what charge and which police station you are being taken to. You also have the right to one phone call,” Shariman said.
He also advised civilians not to run or put up a fight when confronted by police, as this was enough reason for the police to “use reasonable force” to restrain them.