Family demands justice over youngest son's death while in Kedah police’s custody

Mohd Afis Ahmad, 31,  died in police custody but the family was never told how he died or about his injuries. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Mohd Afis Ahmad, 31, died in police custody but the family was never told how he died or about his injuries. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 ― A family has demanded a thorough and fair investigation over the custodial death of their youngest son in Kedah.

In a virtual press conference conducted by the Eliminating Deaths and Abuse in Custody Together (Edict) group today, the family from Gurun, Kedah, claimed Mohd Afis Ahmad, 31, was arrested in late January.

The family said they were not informed until a team of six plain-clothes policemen brought Afis to raid his house on January 27.

Afis’s mother, Asnah Ahmad, claimed her son also had a head injury and bled from his ears at the time. The police did not explain and took nothing during the raid.

Afis’s father, Ahmad Daud, received a phone call at 6am the next from his son’s mobile phone. One “Inspector Amri” told him Afis was taken to the Alor Setar hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“I just want justice. Thorough investigation about his (Afis) death,” said a visibly distraught Asnah in the press conference today.

A photo of Afis’s injury during the police visit was also shared by the family.

Afis’s brother-in-law, Shamsul Jamaludin, said at the press conference that the police never disclosed the reason for the arrest.

“My mother (in-law) asked where he (Afis) was brought and why, the police said he will be brought to Alor Setar and asked her to wait for calls from the police,” he said.

Shamsul added that Ahmad was then told by the police that Afis died in police custody but the family was never told how he died or about his injuries.

“The police kept mum when I asked why he was brought to the hospital in the first place but when I asked more, they said that Afis was found to suffer cramps and then was brought to the hospital.

The family said Afis had been detained in August last year but was never charged with anything.

They also said Afis had been a police volunteer for two years from 2014, before helping his father as a poultry seller.

Afis was a divorcee. His two children lived with his family in Gurun together with him.

Lawyer and Edict chairman M. Visvanathan said Asnah and Ahmad lodged a police report on Afis’s death on January 29 at the Sungai Petani police station, after the hospital notified the family that their son’s death was due to “blunt force trauma” to the head.

He said a team of lawyers will seek more information on the death and will write to the Attorney General’s Chambers and Coroner’s Court to get to the bottom of the matter.

“If there is evidence that the death was a result of beating the victim (Afis) suffered in police custody, the attorney general could charge the police who are involved in his arrest without having to have a coroner inquiry,” he said.

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