Suhakam slams rape of girl while under detention

19 Jan 2021 / 13:52 H.

PETALING JAYA: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said it is appalled with the rape of a 16-year-old girl by a male detainee in the lock-up at a police station in Miri, Sarawak.

“The aforementioned case raises concerns on the government’s lack of measures and mechanisms to protect children, even in detention. According to the Child Act 2001, a child is defined as those below the age of 18 years. The Children’s Commissioner would also like to emphasise that Malaysia, as a State Party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), has the obligations to undertake the necessary actions to protect children’s rights,” said Suhakam’s Children’s Commissioner Prof Datuk Noor Aziah Mohd Awal in a statement today.

She added that based on information received from Suhakam’s office in Sarawak, the victim had lodged a police report on the incident.

“It is of utmost importance that the investigation be carried out in the best interest of the child as such incidents should not have occurred especially when the child was under the supervision of the law enforcement officers.

“More often than not, when a child comes into conflict with the law, there is a tendency to forget the fact that children are first and foremost victims and fundamental care to protect them is highly necessary,” she added.

Noor Aziah said while she was aware that the case is now under investigation, she stressed that the police should take serious and immediate actions to address this matter including reviewing its standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the lock-up and improving its facilities such as the CCTVs to ensure children’s rights are protected.

“The Office of the Children’s Commissioner (OCC) will continue to follow up on this matter and make the necessary recommendations to ensure the right of the child and their safety are protected,” she said.

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