Friday, August 6, 2010

Boy: I was slapped, kicked by police for no reason

By Teoh El Sen - Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: A 14-year-old boy has claimed that he was repeatedly slapped, kicked, and handcuffed till his wrist was badly injured by a police constable when he was arrested for no apparent reason.

The boy further alleged that during detention on Tuesday night, he was threatened and forced to sign a document to "confess" to his crime-- sexually assaulting a young girl.

Recounting his traumatic experience, M Mugelen said he was taking a swim with his friends at a pool at the Pantai Hill Park condominium at about 7pm with four other friends when police approached them.

"Four policemen came up to us and one of them asked us 'who disturbed the girl?' and we answered we did not," he said.

"I did not even know the girl, who is about eight or nine years old. Why didn't they question a group of Malays who were also nearby?" said Mugelen, adding that he suspected the girl's family had lodged a false report to stop him and his friends from swimming at the area.

Mugelen said he was subsequently slapped three times on the left cheek and all five of them, aged between 14 and 17, were brought to the Pantai police station and later the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters.

One of Mugelen's friends, 17-year-old P Thanasegar, alleged that when he was brought there he was handcuffed to a motorcycle and not given any helmet. He was also allegedly kicked in the stomach.

"At the station, my friends were released but I was left alone at about 10pm. A constable, Yani, with the police number 140179 then asked me what was I doing at the pool. When I answered nothing, he slapped and kicked me. He also tightened my cuffs until I was in so much pain," said Mugelen. Doctors later told him that his wrists were dislocated.

"I cried the whole time and I thought about Kugan, and I became so afraid that I would die like him. The same policeman then told me this was 'a little bit pain only, wait till you enter prison'," said Mugelen. (A Kugan, a suspect in the thefts of luxury cars, was found dead while in police custody last year.)

'Investigate the constable'

Mugelen said he was later brought to another room where he was asked to sign a document he believed was a confession.

"I was so scared that I just signed it. They told me if I did not sign I will go to jail," said Mugelen, who stopped schooling since he was 11 as he did not possess a birth certificate then.

Mugelen was relased at 2am the next day after a RM5,000 police bail was paid by his family, but not before he was again kicked by another unknown policeman.

Human Rights Party Selangor Youth chief S Thiagarajan, who highlighted the boys' plight, said the party is urging police to investigate the constable for the alleged attacks on the boys.

"Under the Children and Young Persons Act 1947, this officer should be charged and sentenced to two years for cruelty to the boy. Also, it is wrong under Article 5 of the Federal Constitution to arrest someone without telling them what is his offence," said Thiagarajan, who asked if police were practicising racial discrimination with the boys' arrest.

Brickfields district police chief ACP Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid said both reports were received but investigations into the alleged abuse have been passed over to Kuala Lumpur police headquarters.

When contacted, Kuala Lumpur deputy police CID chief ACP Khairi Ahrasa said the boy is being investigated for alleged molest.

"We will not cover up; investigations are still ongoing," he said.