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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

'Trigger-happy' police condemned for latest teen killing

Sulaiman Kamal | 7:40 PM | Best Blogger Tips

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'Trigger-happy' police condemned for latest teen killing
The fatal shooting of yet another 'suspect' by the police last Friday has earned condemnation from rights group Suaram, saying such arbitrary acts amounted to a serious violation of human rights.

"Fatally shooting someone with impunity without giving an opportunity to defend one's self in a trial is a serious violation of human rights,” said Suaram coordinator Yap Heng Lung.

17-year old Johari Abu Bakar was shot dead by the police on the night of May 13 in Dengkil, Selangor, making him the fifth youth to be killed by police since last year, since the controversial shooting of Aminulrasyid Amzah, 14, as well as Mohd Shamil Hafiz Shapiei, 15, Hairul Nizam Tuah, 20 and Mohd Hanafi Omar, 22.
Johari's mother Salmah, 41, insisted that her son was not a criminal.

“Johari was a Form 4 dropout. Although he did not finish schooling, he still was a good lad who respected his family, especially me. I disagree with police claiming he was a criminal and tried to shoot the police,” she was quoted as saying by the Malay Mail.

Johari's brother Rosli, accompanied by PKR's Subang MP R Sivarasa and Bukit Lanjan state assemblyman Elizabeth Wong, lodged a police report yesterday, and questioned why Johari's right arm was broken before he was shot dead.

Selangor CID chief Mohd Adnan Abdullah however claimed Johari had attempted to shoot policemen when approached.

"We can confirm the suspect did possess a gun and attempted to shoot down policemen who approached him," he said.
Rising number of police shooting
Suaram demanded the police to justify the use of firearms on a 17-year-old teenager, and reminded that International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) protects underage persons from inhuman punishment or arrest without trial.

It added that while the police should discharge their duties to fight crimes, it was still subjected to international human rights standard.

Yap revealed that 279 persons had been shot dead in this manner between 2000 to 2009, based on the Home ministry's statistics.

In 2009, said Yap, Assistant Police Commissioner Syed Mustafa from Bukit Aman stated that the police would use an electronically controlled firearm called 'Taser X26' in crime busting operation to reduce the number of fatal shooting of the suspects.

“Why is then many underage suspects still become victim to police’s shooting?” he asked, and pointed out the absence of a transparent and clear mechanism on the use of firearms by the police.

He also expressed disappointment that the public was not given access to police guideline on firearms usage under the Inspector General of Police Standing Orders (IGSO).

“Suaram urges the government to bring the police officers involved in these cases to justice and to be tried in the courts to uphold justice to the victims and their families,” he added, repeating calls to establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission.

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