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KUCHING, Jan 22: Sarawak Women for Women Society (SWWS) has called for a serious review of the standard operating procedures (SOP) of lockup by the police force.
This call came following the recent case of a 16-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by a male detainee in the lockup at a police station in Miri.
Appalled that such a thing could happen in a police station, SWWS emphasised that law enforcers should be well-versed with the law provided especially when it involved children.
“Under the Child Act 2001, anybody below the age of 18 years old should be separated from adults while being detained in a police station.
“Children while being detained should also be assigned to a police woman especially when a female minor is being questioned. Police stations should supposedly be safe places but unfortunately not so in this case,” SWWS criticised in a statement today.
Further to add salt in the wounds, SWWS noted that the closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage at the said Miri police lockup where the teen girl was allegedly raped was found to be unavailable as the CCTV camera installed was without a recording function.
Hence, SWWS also raised the need for police stations and personnel to be provided with better facilities such as functioning CCTVs as well as separate facilities for young detainees of different sexes.
Reminding that Malaysia is a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), SWWS emphasised that the government should take the necessary actions to ensure children’s rights are upheld in all circumstances. — DayakDaily