Human rights body urges govt to take steps to support ban of torture

File photo of participants at the ‘Workshop on Malaysia Accession to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT)’ held last year. Photo courtesy of BERNAMA.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 (NNN-BERNAMA) — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) on Friday called on the government to immediately take steps to support the ban on torture under international conventions.

SUHAKAM, in a statement, said the prohibition of torture was enshrined under Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) 1948 and Article 5 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

It said one of the steps needed to be taken is to reduce the detention rate of detainees to overcome congestion in detention centres.

“Ensure prompt investigation of all complaints and reports of torture and inhuman treatment, followed by implementation of prosecution and hearing processes in accordance with international standards when credible evidence is available,” the statement said.

In addition, SUHAKAM also urged the government to repeal any law involving acts of torture and replace it with alternative penalties that do not involve physical injury.

The statement was released in conjunction with the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on Friday.