Here’s What To Do When Police Question You at Roadblocks According to Human Rights Group SUARAM

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(source: The Conversation/ The Star)

Over the past weekend, reports of two policemen at two different roadblocks allegedly caught sexually harassing women, have been going viral on social media.

Since then, Bukit Aman Integrity and Standard Compliance Department (JIPS) director Comm Datuk Zamri Yahya said investigations on the two separate incidents are currently underway, according to Bernama.

“Our immediate action is to withdraw the policemen involved from any roadblock duty pending the investigations. We will investigate the matter in a transparent and thorough manner,” he said yesterday (14 Feb), adding that police have also recorded the statements of the two women who made the allegations.

(source: WapCar)

ICYMI, the first incident involved a woman, who claimed that a policeman had asked for her phone number when she was stopped at a roadblock. He subsequently contacted her to get to know her.

The other incident involved another woman who claimed that police personnel had allegedly inappropriately criticised her for not wearing a bra and asked her to expose her breast so she wouldn’t get fined when she was stopped at a roadblock at Jalan Duta. Both women shared their experiences and allegations on social media platforms – at the time of writing, both accounts have been locked.

Spurred by what happened, other netizens came forward to relate incidents that happened to them. Take a look at some of their tweets:

There was even a video posted up by @_lildin, who also has locked his account on Twitter, showing police intimidating a Malaysian who was skateboarding at a park. In the video, a policeman can be seen intimidating and questioning the skater by saying that the government does not give permission to skate. When the police noticed that he was being recorded, he immediately demanded for the phone owner to delete it.

With all these stories and postings of alleged police misconduct, netizens started to reshare information from human-rights group Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) on our rights when being questioned by the police, which was told through illustrations by cartoonist @aminlandak and youth-led collective, Misi:Solidariti.

Let’s learn a few things from that:

Following what happened over the weekend, Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun has urged police to quickly investigate the two incidents, today (15 Feb). According to The Star, the Women, Family and Community Development Minister said she is taking the incident seriously, especially as it involves an enforcement member.

“I urge the PDRM to make an immediate investigation so that the victim is protected and the perpetrator is prosecuted if found guilty. In handling this issue, I sincerely hope that all parties give mutual respect and do not question the overall credibility of the police which has sacrificed a lot in ensuring national security,” she said in a statement.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister, Datuk Seri Rina Harun (source: TwentyTwo13)

Rina has called on all Malaysians, especially women to come forward to file a report if faced with any form of sexual harassment.

“The ministry is ready to help and victims can channel complaints through Talian Kasih 15999 and its Whatsapp Line 019-26 15999 which operates 24 hours. Let us continue to practice respect among one another and work together to combat acts of sexual harassment, as well as eliminating all forms of violence and gender-based discrimination,” she said.

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