APRIL 24 — It has been 13 days since two Mongolian women reported that they were raped by a senior police officer.
They have since been confined at a “safe house” on the pretext of ensuring their safety, in relation to a purported investigation in connection to human trafficking.
Meanwhile the “senior police officer suspect,” has been released on police bail after his remand was not extended. To date, he has not been charged for rape.
There is no reason whatsoever for this delay in charging the police officer for rape, particularly since statements have been taken from the victims and recipients of the first complaint. Medical assessments have also been conducted. There has been no explanation by the PDRM as to why there has been no charge to date, neither has the public been informed of the status of the investigation in relation to the rape charge.
Transparency and expediency are vital. And at no time must there be any suspicion of a cover up, since this case involves a police officer suspect.
The said police officer in the meanwhile has been rightly, suspended from his duties.
There is no clear indication as to how long the suspension is for.
A mere suspension of the police officer suspect, without a charge for attempted kidnap and rape will be a gross injustice to all women and may set a dangerous precedent on perpetrators being let off the hook easily, while in uniform.
The latest development in the crime of a police officer kidnapping and raping two Mongolian women has escalated to them now suing the police officer in the High Court for false imprisonment and sexual assault, and the hotel for aiding him to commit the alleged crime.
While a civil suit may have been filed, this does not dilute the duty of the Attorney Generals Chambers to bring criminal charges against the suspect.
As the suspension of the police officer has been followed up with the sending of the investigation papers to the deputy public prosecutor’s office, the ball is in the Attorney General’s court.
We call upon the Attorney Generals officer to clearly explain why there has been a delay in charging the police officer suspect, who is free on bail while the victims remain in the custody of the PDRM.
We also echo the call for these women to be given protection under the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) 2010 instead of being placed in a shelter under the IPO.
We point out, that to date there has also been no update also on any investigations surrounding the alleged human trafficking of these five Mongolian women.
While we are all indebted to all our frontliners, including the men and women in PDRM, Rela, ATM and APM as well as local council staff, who have been diligently carrying out their duties manning roadblocks and facilitating in the enforcement of the MCO, it must be reiterated that violations committed, by those on duty, during this time, will not be tolerated and must be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly without fear or favour for justice to be served.
As April is the month dedicated to “Sexual Assault Awareness Month,” we commend the Mongolian women for standing up to expose violations against them at the hands of the people who are protectors and defenders of victims from all forms of violence and assault.
* Joint media statement by Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan Kasthuri Patto and Wanita DAP Chief of Legal Bureau Sangeet Kaur Deo on April 24, 2020.
** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.