Friday, July 17, 2009

Interrogation Methods Reality Check

In the light of the sudden death of Teoh Beng Hock, we had been shown of revelations of how MACC employs brutal interrogation methods on its witnesses it intends to interrogate. For instance the Kajang Municipal councillor revealed of how he gets threatened by interrogators of the MACC.

Quote from The Malaysian Insider:
"They called me a stupid Chinese... Are you from China? You can't speak Malay?” said Tan Boon Wah.

Tan was called in by the MACC as part of the investigation into the alleged misuse of public funds by state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah.

Tan, who is also a businessman, had last year supplied flags worth RM2,400 for Ean Yong's constituency of Seri Kembangan.

“They asked whether I supplied flags. I said yes but then I was forced to admit that I did not supply the flags,” said Tan.

He added that he could not furnish the MACC with details of the transaction during the investigation because he needed time to look for the documents.

Tan, who went to the MACC office on Wednesday evening, also claimed that he was subjected to torture and was threatened that he would be beaten if he refused to admit to allegations made by the investigators.

“I was shouted at: 'This is my place, you better believe that I can hit you',” said Tan.

“I was then asked to stand and look straight. I was not allowed to rest my head. I was made to stand for four hours,” he added.

Tan said the MACC officials also threatened to arrest his wife and detain his children .

The methods they deployed is very similar to the Executive Order 13440 signed by Bush that was rescinded by Obama in the first few days after taking over the Oval Office. Executive Order 13440 is a few steps short of the Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention whereby interrogation practices as practiced in the army manual can be used against convicts except for those considered as enemies of the state including Al-Qaeda, Taliban, etc.. What it means here is that interrogation practices don't work on them and it allows interrogators to use brutal methods against suspects.

So it means that MACC interrogators were responsible for Teoh's death. MACC is covering thing up the Apartheid men did during Steve Biko's apparent death. Reading that excerpt below, I find that this is the actual story behind the whole picture:
But he could not talk. He could not talk because there was nothing to talk about. The MACC wanted him to finger his comrades in the opposition. They wanted him to implicate his friends in the opposition for various crimes that the MACC alleges had been committed by those in the opposition.

He tried to explain that he is not being stubborn. He tried to explain that no crime had been committed. He tried to explain that he could not possibly implicate his comrades in the opposition for various crimes if these crimes are merely a figment of the MACC’s imagination.

So they continued to torture him. And he could no longer stand the torture. After all, he is not the macho type of man. He is but a gentle man who only wanted to get married this weekend. That was all that he wanted.

They threatened to kill him if he refuses to talk. With tears running down his cheeks he begged for mercy and pleaded with them not to harm him. They threatened to throw him off the top floor if he refuses to talk. Sobbing like a baby he went down on his knees and begged for his life.

They dragged him across the room and opened the window. Then something went terribly wrong. It was supposed to be just a threat. They just wanted to put fear in him. They did not really want to throw him off the top floor. They just wanted him to see what the ground floor looks like from the top floor.

The unfortunate young man panicked. He went ballistic when he saw the distance he would have to travel before hitting the ground floor. He struggled. They could not hold onto him. Gravity took over and the life of this young man was prematurely snuffed out.

MACC apparently doesn't have a standard book of interrogation practices like a normal police force or a military do. But we've heard of the police going out of the line in its interrogation practices. This casts an impression to people who have read the news that detention of people, particularly people who have contrasting opinion of the government. What is done shows that there is no reality check on law enforcement interrogation methods and when people knows how this happens, Malaysia has starting to employ the Abu Ghraib style of detention on those who are arrested. Maybe paranoia is a factor, assuming everyone as terrorist level people.

We learned that there is no way suicide was the factor of Teoh's death. Instead it is how they interrogate a person who is merely a witness. They threaten witnesses with beating of their family members. Even police officers are not spared. As some of you recalled, the power of the MACC director is one level above the Inspector General, and this case, he can circumvent the rights of the IGP. This means that they can threaten a police officer to reveal information and even sometimes for their own agenda, in this case the three underworld figures who have proof and testimony of connections of IGP the Tengku's circle..
The MACC has been a tool of those who walk in the corridors of power for a long, long time. Officially, Barisan Nasional has 14 component members with Umno as the lead partner. Unofficially, Barisan Nasional has seventeen component members. The Election Commission is the fifteenth component member of Barisan Nasional, the Malaysian police the sixteenth, and the MACC the seventeenth. They all serve the interests of Umno and the Prime Minister.
The desire of making MACC as par as ICAC can be thrown off the window if the agency cannot be independent (that is still being an unofficial entity of UMNO), and Ahmad Said Hamdan's son also linked by international media as being arrested for carrying porn material (a pilot). Plus being unable to prosecute those people who have strong links and bad corruption practices.

If there are people in government calling for people to stop speculating, it's not likely given that people say it's not suicide while cops say that it's not foul play

If there is a call for Royal Commission to investigate this, as what KJ said, fine, go ahead.

What those guys did to Teoh is tantamount to 2nd degree murder and that warrants a life sentence in prison, if this is done in America.

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