214 died during detention in first six months

A TOTAL of 214 people have died in lock-ups, prisons and immigration depots in the first six months of this year, says the Home Ministry.

In a written reply, the ministry said that from January to June, three people died in police lock-ups.

“The deaths involved a Malay man in Kelantan, a Chinese man in Sarawak and a Nepalese in Kuala Lumpur.

“The police have taken measures to avoid deaths in lock-ups with tighter standard operating procedure (SOP) to handle sick detainees, making frequent rounds outside the lock-up cells at night, preparing a treatment room with medical assistants and putting additional staff to manage detainees,” said the ministry in the written reply to Kasthuri Patto (PH-Batu Kawan).

Kasthuri had asked about the number of custody deaths, including those held by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

During the same period, prisons recorded 188 deaths, out of which 158 were Malaysians and the rest were foreigners, said the ministry.

It added that out of the 158, there were 109 Malays, 25 Indians, 20 Chinese and four of other ethnicities.

“The measures taken by the Prison Department include checks, psychology tests, close monitoring and health facilities,” it added.

During the same period, 23 people had also died at the various immigration depots nationwide.

Out of that, there were 18 adult males, three adult females and two children.

The ministry said the 23 deaths took place at the Semenyih, Langkap, Lenggeng, Pekan Nenas, Juru, KLIA, Bukit Jalil, Ajil and Machap Umboo immigration depots.

“The measures taken by the Immigration Department include placing 14 medical assistants at various immigration depots nationwide, identifying nearest health clinics as reference centres and health checks periodically,” said the ministry,

It said no deaths were recorded at any MACC lock-ups this year.

It added that the renting of closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera systems, approved during the tabling of Budget 2020, was also in the tender process.

The ministry said 684 lock-up locations had been identified nationwide for this project.

“The police have also applied for an allocation of RM35mil for body cameras and are waiting for approval,” it added.

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