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Malaysia: Suhakam calls for prison reforms

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Systematic and cohesive reforms need to be instituted in prisons to address a range of concerns, says the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia.


Systematic and cohesive reforms need to be instituted in prisons to address a range of concerns, said the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).

According to a report in The Sun Daily, these issues include access to medical care, including mental health care, for both staff and inmates, as well as prison conditions and the working conditions of prison staff.

Suhakam said in a statement that its findings come in the wake of receiving a memorandum from Persatuan Penasihat Pengguna-Pengguna Malaysia on 5 August 2013 concerning the alleged mistreatment of Mr P. Uthayakumar in the Kajang Prison, which led to it investigating the matter and taking several follow-up actions.

"Suhakam has also taken a step further by undertaking a thematic study into the issue on the right to health in prison, with the objective to ensure that the conditions of prisons in the country are consistent with acceptable health and safety standards and human dignity in order to achieve a criminal justice system that respects individual rights," Suhakam Chairperson Tan Sri Hasmy Agam said.

He added that Suhakam had conducted special visits to prisons across the country to compile first-hand data and information with regard to the issues faced by both inmates and prison staff.

Suhakam visited 13 prisons and surveyed 4086 inmates, 646 staff and 37 medical assistants.

Hasmy said the findings and recommendations will be submitted to the relevant authorities with the aim of improving health standards in prisons.

Date: 28 October 2014

Source: The Sun Daily


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  1. Man sitting - APF, Michael Power