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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kelantan prison detainees forced to strip naked

Sulaiman Kamal | 4:32 PM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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A former training director for election watchdog Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (Mafrel) has complained of human rights abuses during his almost two-week-long detention at the Pengkalan Chepa Prison in Kelantan.

Ahmad Syauqey Abdul Ghani said he and 113 other prisoners were ordered to strip in front of one another on June 23, the day he was sent to the prison.
"I was scared and confused, along with the other detainees who also had to strip naked. It was very embarrassing.
"We were ordered to strip in stages, 10 to 20 prisoners at a time... the situation, with more than a hundred naked men, was horrible, embarrassing and inhumane," Ahmad Syauqey said.
Ahmad Syauqey, who has made several sketches to describe his time in detention, said the prison was overcrowded and stuffy.

"Ten other prisoners and I were ordered into a cell at the quarantine block. The size of the cell was 6ft by 12ft. 

"We had to squeeze against one another to fit in, and some of us had to put our legs on the walls, as there was no space to lie down. Many of us could not sleep due to the heat and over-crowding," he said.
Ahmad Syauqey also said that the unhygienic conditions made it very difficult for Muslims to conduct their prayers properly.
The quarantine block is exclusively for detainees who have been remanded and are awaiting trial or bail.

Among other complaints he had are:
  • No proper facilities for Muslims to pray;
  • Only two pails of water for 10 to 12 prisoners to share for toilet use;
  • Prisoners were told to defecate in front of other prisoners; and
  • Prisoners were caned on their feet as punishment for 'wrongdoing'.
Ahmad Syauqey (right) has since lodged a report on his ill-treatment at the Kota Baru police station and plans to file a complaint with Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), besides the email he has already sent.

When contacted, Pengkalan Chepa Prison director Husni Johari said an investigation was under way.

"For now, we will not be commenting as an investigation is already under way. It will be completed as soon as possible," Husni said.

Ahmad Syauqey was arrested on June 20 under Section 186 of the Penal Code for obstructing a public officer and under Section 90 of the Police Act for behaving indecently in a police station.

He was remanded and sent to the Pengkalan Chepa Prison and was freed on July 5, after bail was posted in a magistrate's court in Bachok.
His case is fixed for Nov 2 and 16 respectively for hearing.

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