Sunday, 17 March 2013

Rights of the Dead: Teoh Beng Hock

How could one who had scheduled for his wedding as his fiance expecting the delivery of their baby be possible to commit suicide!?

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English version:

Malay version:

Chinese version:

Abstracts from Wikipedia:
Teoh Beng Hock (趙明福1979–16 July 2009) was a Malaysian journalist and political aide to Ean Yong Hian Wah, a member of the Selangor state legislative assembly and state executive council. On 15 July 2009, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) took Teoh into custody for questioning about allegations of corruption. Teoh was found dead the next morning on the rooftop of a building adjacent to the MACC offices. Pakatan Rakyat leaders and a number of federal government officials have called for a Royal Commission of inquiry into Teoh's death.

Sequence of events
MACC officials claimed that the interrogation had lasted for about 9 hours. According to the MACC also, Teoh was freed at 3.45am—however without proper explanation, his possessions, including his mobile phone, remained in MACC custody. MACC officials also claimed that Teoh asked to stay the night at the MACC office, and was claimed to be last seen alive around 6am. Teoh was found dead at 1.30pm later in the day. The investigation had been into allegations that Ean Yong had paid RM2,400 for flags to be used in Merdeka Day celebrations, but not taken delivery of the flags. Teoh's colleagues who had also been questioned claimed that they were put under pressure from MACC officers, including being denied access to legal counsel and food or drink. Teoh's mobile phone was still in the possession of MACC officials when he was found dead at 1.30pm despite the MACC's claims that Teoh was released at 3.45am. The mobile phone was later handed to the police for investigation.
One of Teoh's colleagues, Tan Boon Wah, later filed suit against the MACC for false imprisonment. In the case, Tan Boon Wah v. Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan, Ketua Suruhanjaya, Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia and Others, the High Court ruled that because Tan was interrogated after normal working hours, he had been subject to false imprisonment, and ordered the MACC to pay him damages. Tan's lawyer, Karpal Singh, said that Teoh's family could also sue the MACC for damages, citing this ruling. Democratic Action Party Parliamentary leader and former Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang lamented that "Teoh Beng Hock would not have died if MACC had followed the law" and interrogated him during the day. 

Teoh's family and others have called the MACC's version of events into question. When the investigating officer involved briefed the MACC's advisory board, several members of the board "asked why he chose to stay back. Any detainee would have run for his life! The investigating officer replied that since Teoh wanted to stay back, he allowed it." During this briefing it also emerged that no official records of Teoh's detention or his release existed. In August, a video of men in uniform assaulting a man in their custody began circulating as a supposed video of Teoh's interrogation. The Bukit Aman federal police headquarters denied the men were police personnel. The video had previously been circulated in June as a supposed example of police interrogation techniques, ruling out the possibility of it involving Teoh. A political observer attributed the video's popularity to the government's failing to provide adequate clarification about the circumstances of Teoh's interrogation: "The authorities are shedding little light about what happened to Teoh. This allows rumour mongers to spread ridiculous things."

Justice must be sought!

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