PETALING JAYA: An elderly couple in Gurun, Kedah is seeking justice after their only son died while in police custody about 12 hours after his arrest.
Eliminating Deaths and Abuse in Custody Together (Edict) chairman M.Visvanathan said the last time the couple saw their son Mohd Afis Ahmad, 31, was when he was brought home in handcuffs by six men who are believed to be plain-clothes policemen.
"He was also bleeding from the head and ears when he was brought home around 6pm on Jan 27.
"His mother was informed that he would be brought to Alor Setar to be investigated and Afis' 12-year-old son also took a picture of his father's injuries," he said, adding that the policemen were there to search the house.
However, at around 6am the next day, Afis' father Ahmad Daud, 64, received a call from the police informing him about his son's death and that he was brought to Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah in Alor Setar from Hospital Yan for post-mortem.
Afis' brother-in-law Shamsul Jamaluddin, 39, claimed the body and said there were bruises on the deceased and also a head wound.
Visvanathan said the cause of death was stated as blunt force trauma to the head.
"When Shamsul asked why Afis was arrested, they claimed that he was suspected of impersonating a police officer but we have yet to confirm that," he said.
He also said the family did not know about Afis' arrest until the police came to the house and was told to go to the police station if they wanted more information.
According to the family, police also spent 30 minutes searching the house but left empty-handed.
Visvanathan said the next course of action was to gather more details about the case before writing to the Attorney General's Chambers for an inquest to be conducted.
"If there were obvious elements that he was beaten to death, we do not need to wait for an inquest and work on getting those responsible charged because there is no reason for detainees to be hit on the
head," he said.
Meanwhile, Afis' mother Asnah Ahmad, 65, said she wants to know what really happened to her son when he was in custody.
"He was our youngest child and now I only have two children. I want justice and I hope for a thorough investigation will be conducted," she said.
Shamsul said he wants to know why Afis was brought to the hospital in the first place.
"This needs to be explained," he said adding that the family was informed to go to Sg Petani to know more about the case, where they also lodged a police report on Jan 28.
It is understood that the police report was then transferred back to Yan.
Yan OCPD Deputy Supt Shahnaz Akhtar Haji confirmed a report was made and police have opened investigations into the case.
"We are now waiting for further details from post-mortem such as data from lab analytics to proceed further," he said when contacted.