Torture and Deaths in Custody in Malaysia: A Documentary Screening

Event: Documentary Screening and Discussion: POCA Boy + Chilli Powder & Thinner
Time: 8:30 PM to 10:00 PM
Date: 24 June 2021

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In conjunction with International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on 26 June, we are organising an online film screening featuring POCA Boy (2018) by Sevan Doraisamy and Chilli Powder and Thinner (2021) by Mohammad Alshatri to raise awareness and spark discussion on the prevalent death cases in custody.

From Ganapathy to Sivabalan, from Surendran to Umar Faruq, the increase in the number of deaths in custody in recent months is deeply alarming and worrying. But these names who made it to the news headlines are just the tip of the iceberg. About three-quarters of custodial deaths are hidden from people’s eyes and ears, and the abhorrent practice of torture goes on in darkness, inside prisons and detention centres, and behind the walls of police stations.

Torture and ill-treatment can happen in many forms, often performed by the detaining authorities during chain remand or detention under security laws as a means to obtain confession or information or as a form of punishment or intimidation. Suspects and detainees are beaten with wooden sticks, rubber hoses, chairs, and other objects.

We hope to use this opportunity to unpack the issue of death in custody and explore the intricate linkages between security laws, arrest and detention, fair trial, justice and accountability and police brutality.

The screening will be followed by a post-screening discussion with Suaram’s Executive Director Sevan Doraisamy, moderated by Amnesty Malaysia. This event is organised by ACT4CAT, a civil society coalition advocating for the ratification of the Convention against Torture (CAT) as well as for the elimination of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in Malaysia.