Non-profit organisation Eliminating Deaths & Abuse in Custody Together (Edict) has criticised Sarawak police commissioner Datuk Aidi Ismail’s response to the rape of a minor in police lockup, saying he should resign over the incident.
Edict said that it was shocked and disappointed with the statement given by Aidi, saying the incident cast doubt over the integrity of the police in Sarawak.
“In the circumstances, we would like to urge the Sarawak Police Commissioner to resign with immediate effect based on his failures to uphold his duties and for the crime permitted to be committed against the minor in this case.
“Lame excuses by the Sarawak Police Commissioner like CCTV recordings are not available, and asking subordinates to investigate a case that has the nation’s attention, has clearly shown his inability and raises serious doubts as to his credibility in carrying out his duties as a State Police commissioner,” the group said in a statement.
Edict accused Aidi of nonchalance despite the involvement of a minor and allegations that the rape occurred due to his officers’ negligence.
“We are wondering why a police task force from outside Sarawak is not formed for the purposes of transparency and preventing biasness, not tasked to investigate this case?” the group questioned.
Edict also claimed that the police may have violated the Child Act 2002 after queries regarding the victim’s arrest procedures were ignored.
“Among the concerns raised were no female officer had been placed with the minor girl, had allowed the child to be among adults and had placed the child in the lock-up without any compelling, cogent, valid reason,” they said.
The alleged rape of the 16-year-old girl is said to have occurred on January 8 by a male detainee after she was held for supposed involvement in illegal online gambling activities.
Yesterday, Aidi said that a police investigation into an incident in which a 16-year-old girl claimed that she was raped by a male detainee while being held at the Miri police station lockup on January 9 found that a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera footage was unavailable.
He said he instructed his deputy Datuk Fisol Salleh to coordinate the internal investigation and the results would be known this week.
Aidi said the case was being investigated by the Integrity and Standard Compliance Department of the Sarawak police contingent headquarters, together with the Miri district police.
Two police officers have been suspended. – MMO