It has been reported that on 11th April, 2020, (https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2020/04/12/police-inspector-at-mco-roadblock-allegedly-abducted-and-raped-two-mongolian-women#cxrecs_s) and (https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2020/04/12/police-inspector-at-mco-roadblock-allegedly-abducted-and-raped-two-mongolian-women) 2 Mongolian girls were the suspected victims of an alleged abduction and rape by a police inspector in Selangor.
More recent reports (https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2020/04/14/report-mongolians-who-reported-friends-alleged-rape-by-police-inspector-hel/1856700) suggest that the 2 Mongolian women together with their 3 friends, to whom they made the first complaint of rape and abduction, have now, in a twist, themselves been detained after reporting the said complaints as instructed by the police to do so. It is further understood from the said reports that the girls are now being investigated in relation to human trafficking.
We want to make it clear that these 2 girls are the victims of rape and allegedly by a high-ranking officer who abused his position, power and authority to commit this crime. The other 3 girls are witness as the recipients of the first complaints in relation to the rape. There is no basis whatsoever for the girls to now have been arrested and forcefully kept under an IPO. Why were they detained if they acted in the best interest of the victims, which is to report and tip off the abduction and rape of the victims? The PDRM must clearly state what is the basis of an investigation in relation human trafficking is and whether anyone suspected to have trafficked the girls, has been remanded at all. What is the status of the investigation on the trafficker and on their trafficking syndicate? We also understand that upon their complaint of rape, all 5 girls were handcuffed. Victims are never handcuffed. Placing the girls in a ‘safe house’ on an erroneous basis that they are victims of human trafficking, no doubt with a court order, and placing handcuffs on victims, could amount to clear attempts of intimidation and harassment of victims and witnesses of the rape. We also urge the PDRM to disclose whether or not the victims and the 3 witnesses have been provided with interpreters which is obviously necessary to facilitate any genuine investigation.
With all due respect, the PDRM must not digress from the main complaint here which is the alleged abduction and rape. The suspect is a high-ranking police officer and transparency in this investigation is vital. There must be no cover up or side tracking from the rape investigation. Reports suggest that the perpetrator was remanded for 5 days. We urge the PDRM to clearly state what the status of the investigation is in relation to the abduction and rape charge and whether the suspect will be charged or the remand extended pending further investigations. While we appreciate and commend the speedy action of PDRM in the remand of the inspector suspected of rape and the following statement by Petaling Jaya District Police Chief Nik Ezanee, that the 2 Mongolian women were victims of rape, we stress that they are victims of rape, who, under no circumstances should be victims of mishandling by the authorities.
Reports of rape or other violations by enforcement officers within the walls of prisons, lock-up centres and detention centres have been reported in the past. However, at this time, as we battle against COVID19, all eyes are on how PDRM will handle this act of crime by one of her men.
PDRM also must explain how the details and the personal photos of these victims have been leaked. The phones belonging to these girls have been seized by the police to assist investigations. The victims and the witnesses are in the custody of PDRM and as such, PDRM is responsible to ensure that they are treated with dignity and respect.
Heads must roll on anyone found to have abused power in their conduct when treating victims of rape and possibly of human trafficking like criminals.
Dated this 15th April, 2020.
Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan
Sangeet Kaur Deo
Legal Bureau Chief