Post-mortem for ‘tuberculosis’ detainee tomorrow confirmed

Post-mortem for ‘tuberculosis’ detainee tomorrow confirmed

PETALING JAYA: Lawyer Melissa Sasidaran has confirmed that the Sungai Buloh Hospital would conduct a post-mortem on 26-year-old detainee Proosothaman who died allegedly of tuberculosis.

“The family has demanded for a post-mortem. The hospital initially asked for a court order but that should not be the case since he was detained under the care of the state,” said Melissa of the legal NGO, Lawyers for Liberty.

“The Sungai Buloh Hospital has finally agreed to conduct the post-mortem tomorrow morning,” she added.

Earlier today, she took to Twitter in highlighting the case and questioned the standard operating procedure of the Prisons Department and Home Ministry in handling death in detention cases.

She told The Leaders Online that Proosothaman was fine until earlier this month when he complained of stomach pain.

“He had severe stomach pain to the extent that he could not walk when his family went to visit him.”

She also questioned how widespread tuberculosis was in the Sungai Buloh prison where she believes Proosothaman may have contracted tuberculosis.

“If he contracted tuberculosis, how widespread is it among the prisons? Are the prison officials safe as well?”

5 Faces

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.

LFL also took note of the higher mortality digits in prisons and immigration detention centres.  A total of 1654 deaths took place in prisons from 2010 to February 2017.

Immigration detention centres recorded 82 deaths in 2015 and 35 in 2016.

All the five victims in this report are from the Indian community. 

The group also noted that Indians are more likely to get killed even though the racial breakdown of the 284 people are 117 Malays, 63 Indians and 59 Chinese.

There are similar traits in all five cases highlighted in this report, apart from the fact that they are all Indians.

The cause of death is always health related but it is the second post mortem that reveals the torture that the victims undergo before breathing their last.

The culprits for the deaths walk away, unpunished.

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