Complaints of Cops Harassing Families of LTTE-Linked Suspects

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Suhakam is launching an investigation into claims that the police’s Special Branch officers have allegedly threatened and intimidated the families of three LTTE-linked suspects.

In the memorandum, Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy had listed several incidences of threats and intimidations faced by the families and friends of Gadek assemblyperson G Saminathan, Malacca Green Technology Incorporated chief executive officer S Chandru and DAP member V Sureshkumar.

This includes the police’s alleged attempts to prevent a candlelight vigil by threatening to detain the family members if they proceeded; the threats against Saminathan’s aide, known as Jaya, to get her to retract any posting about the solidarity activities in her Facebook and warning her not to viral any article or information concerning the 12 suspects; and a claim that a police officer had contacted Saminathan’s wife and sought bribes in exchange for her husband’s release.

“Since the detention of Saminathan, Chandru and Suresh Kumar, their family members and friends were often intimidated and threatened by cops, especially from the Special Branch.

FMT

V Umah Devi (3rd from left) holds up a copy of the memorandum that was given to Suhakam. On her right are Suhakam commissioner Jerald Joseph and Suaram executive director Sevan Dorasamy.

“This caused worries and discomfort (tidak tenang) to the family members. We want Suhakam to quickly investigate this matter and urge the government to stop the intimidation and threats which violate human rights,” the memorandum reads.

V Uhma Devi, whose husband is Gadek assemblyman G Saminathan, one of those held, said she received a call while participating in a hunger strike outside the federal police headquarters at Bukit Aman on Oct 24.

She said the caller, who identified himself as a senior officer, told her that the protesters, including her, were being watched.

She said that 10 minutes later, she received another call and the caller told her that if she wanted her husband released, she could “belanja makan” (treat them to a meal).

“When I asked him what he meant by that, he said, ‘You can’t even understand simple words. It is not a small amount.’

“Another 10 minutes later, I received yet another call from the same person who asked me if I had made up my mind. I told him if he would come face-to-face with me, I would be able to do something,” Uhma said.

When asked by reporters what she understood from the man’s words, Umah said he was soliciting a bribe.

“He was looking for money,” she added.

When she challenged the man to meet her in person, he refused to reveal his name. She said she never received another call from him after that.

She added that she had not lodged a police report as she believed the offer to have her husband released came from the police themselves.

Saminathan’s personal aide K Jayasutha, said she also received a call while planning a candlelight vigil at a temple in Malacca three weeks ago.

“The caller demanded to know who would be the VIP attending and who the organisers were,” she said. The caller also spoke about her Facebook posts and the planned candlelight vigil.

Jayasutha said other members of the solidarity group supporting the 12 detainees had also received calls demanding that they cancel any event linked to protests over the detention.

Suaram executive director Sevan Dorasamy, who earlier accompanied the family members to hand over a memorandum to Suhakam, said this should not be happening in ‘Malaysia Baru’.

Lim Huey Teng/Malaysiakini

Suhakam commissioner Jerald Joseph agreed that there were elements in Sosma that needed to be refined and it would be conducting an investigation into the matter.