LFL: Investigate Sungai Buloh Prison for criminal negligence

LFL: Investigate Sungai Buloh Prison for criminal negligence

PUCHONG: Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) today called upon the police to investigate the Sungai Buloh Prison authorities for criminal negligence which led to detainee M Proosothaman’s death.

“Proosothaman lost his life due to prison officials’ negligence and apathy,” said LFL’s Melissa Sasidaran, in a statement.

On May 21, Proosothaman was admitted to the Sungai Buloh Hospital for suffering from prolonged ailment. He died four days later.

In an autopsy conducted by the Sungai Buloh Hospital yesterday, it was found that Prosothaman died due to ‘multiple organ failure due to disseminated tuberculosis.’

The pathologist also briefed the family and lawyer that the deceased would have shown gradual symptoms of tuberculosis such as prolonged coughing, coughing with blood, fever, loss of weight and appetite.

Hurling brickbats at the Sungai Buloh Prison authorities, Melissa said that Prosoothaman had complained to his family, when they visited him on May 5, that he was suffering from fever, stomach ache, diarrhoea and had difficulty walking due to intense pain.

“However, the prisons officials only gave him Panadol for his pain,” she said.

Melissa added that the Sungai Buloh Prison authority only decided to take Prosoothaman to the hospital on May 21 but by then, the infectious disease had spread throughout his body and had ravaged his organs.

“The deceased would have contracted the disease months before his death. Why was Proosothaman denied timely medical treatment when he first showed signs of prolonged illness? Why was he only taken to hospital days prior to his death?

“And the family was not even informed that Proosothaman was admitted in the hospital. They were only alerted by a fellow patient at the hospital,” she said.

Melissa said that the Home Ministry and the Prisons Department must accept responsibility for Proosothaman’s death and said his demise could have been prevented if the authorities had taken immediate action.

“Tuberculosis is a highly infectious disease. This raises the question on whether proper medical and quarantine procedures were taken by the Sungai Buloh Prison authorities as the deceased would have came into contact with other inmates.

“Such lapses are in breach of the Prisons Act 1995 and Prisons Regulations 2000, that requires seriously ill prisoners to be admitted to the hospital and for prisoners with contagious disease to be treated and quarantined so as to prevent the spread of the disease.

In a report entitled 5 Faces: A Story of Five Custodial Deaths published by Lawyers for Liberty in September last year, the group noted that a total of 284 people died in police custody between the year 2000 to 2016.That makes an average of 17 deaths annually.#custodialdeath #lawyersforliberty #police #pdrm

Posted by The Leaders on Isnin, 27 Mei 2019

“All detainees must not be treated lesser human beings and deprived of proper health checks just because they are prisoners,” said Melissa.

By G Vinod