KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — Several women’s groups told the police to release three Mongolians held under an interim protection order (IPO) for a human trafficking investigation after they reported two compatriots’ alleged rape by an inspector.
In a press statement today, the 16 organisations also urged for the investigations to be focused on rape, after the women alleged that their two compatriots were raped and abducted by the inspector.
Police successfully applied to detain the three for 21 days using the order under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Atipsom) Act 2007.
“We strongly urge that the IPO under Atipsom should be set aside, and the three women should be released and focus should be on rape investigations and charging the perpetrator.
“It is disturbing that the three women who were seeking redress and justice for their friends have been detained in this manner. But for them, the rape of their friends would not have come to light. As such, they should be treated as whistleblowers, who should be protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act, and not detained under Atipsom,” the groups said in the joint statement.
They added that the police’s swift and meaningful actions are imperative in alleviating fear, stress and trauma among girls, women, migrant workers, and other marginalized groups to go out alone to buy food and other essential things, stressing that it is the state’s obligation to make cities safe for all.
“Many women and persons from marginalised groups have also reported harassment and intimidation by police officers at roadblocks. This sobering incident is a timely moment to introduce a guideline on police interaction with members of the public, especially vulnerable persons and communities. Members of the public should have free access to redress should they face harassment, violence or abuse of power by the law enforcement agencies.” they added.
On April 12, a police inspector was arrested for allegedly raping two Mongolian women aged 20 and 37 years old after he stopped them at a movement control order (MCO) roadblock here.
In the Friday night incident, the two women alleged that they were stopped at a roadblock in the district while they were on their way home in a car they hired through the e-hailing app Grab.
Upon finding out that the two victims had no valid travel documents on them, the inspector reportedly took advantage of the situation and forcefully took them to a nearby hotel where he allegedly raped them.
Yesterday, it was reported that the three Mongolian women who reported the matter to the police have been detained for 21 days as part of a human trafficking investigation.