Police and your basic rights

The Malaysian Bar Council's publication titled Police and Your Basic Rights is one good source for young people to get information on what to do when stopped by the police.

Here are some of the information provided:

> When you cannot be arrested:
The police cannot arrest you just because you are a potential witness and want to take a statement from you (112/Witness Statement).

> For more information about your rights when approached by the police, have a look at the Malaysian Bar's booklet titled “Police and Your Basic Rights”, also known as the “Red Book” available from its website at http://www.malaysianbar.org.my./

Metzelder says: Above information is important for the public to know what is their rights. Below I further explain the arguments of police using firearms.

 WHEN should the police use firearms when dealing with suspects? What is the standard operating procedure on this?

The answers to these questions are unfortunately classified information under the Inspector General of Police's Standing Orders.

But some light may be shed on arrests and the use of firearms based on several documents, says Edmund Bon of Malaysian Bar's constitutional law committee chair.

Regarding the use of firearms, Bon makes reference to Article 9 of the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights which has been adopted by Malaysia.

It reads that “law enforcement officials shall not use firearms against persons except in self-defence or defence of others against the imminent threat of death or serious injury ....”

It may be used to prevent a serious crime involving “grave threat to life” and to arrest a person presenting such a danger and resisting their authority, or to prevent his or her escape.

It also states that this measure is to be taken “only when less extreme means are insufficient to achieve these objectives”.

In any event, intentional lethal use of firearms may only be made when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life, it adds.

He says that in cases where a suspect in a vehicle refuses to stop, and as a result is posing a threat to the public, the use of firearms can be allowed.

“The use of firearms has to be the last resort, so the person must have tried all means necessary to apprehend and stop the suspect,” he says, emphasising that firearms should only be used in extreme circumstances.

As to arrests by the police, according to S15 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), anyone forcibly resisting efforts to arrest him or attempts to evade the arrest, the police officers may use all means necessary to effect the arrest.

S15 (3) states that “Nothing in this section gives a right to cause the death of a person who is not accused of an offence punishable with death or with imprisonment for life.”

Says Bon, “There must be clear grounds for arrest. If the person is in a car, for example, the car should be known to have been stolen or belongs to a known suspect. Alternatively, they have seen the person and identified him as a known suspect, or if the person starts shooting from the vehicle.”

As such the concept of using fire arms has been explained, isn't the police made mistake when they grounded and take life of late Aminulrasyid. I said he is wrong to drive car without license, which can be charged in court that at most would be fined or jailed. But death sentence which was not sentenced by Justice in court is just to much for him. He is definitely not a criminal, only traffic offender stands in.

It is further illogical to say Aminulrasyid reversed his car to ramp the police (endangering lives of police) as the fact is he is already shot died.

Police should not in the first place open fire arms when there is not substantial need and neither procedure allowed.

Besides that, IGP attitude not to apologise to Aminul's family is very regrettable as he reasons that it may have legal implications. Now they should drop the claims and label of Aminulrasyid is a robber or criminal after repeatedly demanded by family and public.