There is presently in the US an on-going criminal investigation into the harsh questioning of detainees during former President George Bush’s war on terror. We all have seen the horrors of Abu Gharib prison camp in Iraq and the inhumane interrogation techniques used by the US forces in Guantanamo detention facility. Most of those who have suffered the torture are mostly innocent, and their only crime was because they were Iraqis.
There is also a book authored by Philippe Sands titled “Torture Team – Uncovering War Crimes in the Land of the Free” that investigates into the people that prompted the use of unauthorized interrogation techniques on detainees in both Abu Gharib and Guantanamo, which apparently lead to top notch personalities having link to the White House and the Pentagon, notably the former Defence Secretary Donald Rumfeld and former Vice President Dick Cheney. Both were said to be highly instrumental in devising and authorising new interrogation techniques on all suspected Al-Qaeda detainees.
There is no denying too that even former President Bush have had some knowledge of the cruelty and torture meted by the US prison officers upon the detainees, and including the people who are directly implicated in the authorization of such inhumane interrogation techniques. Wasn’t he the person to have recognised that members of the Al-Qaeda should not to be accorded prisoners of war (POW) status under the Geneva Convention? In other words, members of Al-Qaeda are deemed stateless people, and hence the Geneva Convention does not apply to them after the infamous September 11 attack on the USA.
What had taken place in Abu Gharib and Guantananmo reminds us of what might have taken place during the ‘interrogation’ of ‘detained’ Teoh Beng Hock by MACC officers, that subsequently lead to his death. I am not implying that the MACC is the cause of the death, but there has to be the element of unbearable pressure (physical or otherwise) exerted on him that may have cause his death. It is not easy for one to take his own life, for no obvious reason.
I am not quite sure if MACC have any documents or manuals that specifically outlines the procedures and methods of interrogation? I suppose there is such a document or manual and if there isn’t, then MACC will have a lot answering to do when the Royal Commission of Inquiry convenes later.
In the case of the US forces, Field Manual (FM) 34-52 that provides the procedures for interrogation of POW have been totally discarded for detainees under former President Bush dictum of ‘War on Terror’, that eventually resulted in the horrendous torture methods witnessed in Abu Gharib and Guantanamo.
Now, this takes me to question whether the Malaysian Armed Forces that runs a prison facility in Batu Cantonment Camp in Kuala Lumpur have a similar manual governing interrogation and question techniques of imprisoned soldiers. And if they don’t, they have better devise one quickly.
While in the service, I had excess to soldiers who had served their term in military prison, and they confess that they had gone through some physical manhandling by the prison guards. I am not aware of any death of soldiers while in custody in military prison, unlike what we hear of death in custody in police prison. In this instant, I think it is certainly much safer to be in a military prison then a police prison.
Since death while in police custody has occurred several time before, and now an inquest into a death while in MACC’s custody is currently being heard, it will not be wrong for me to assume that there is something seriously wrong with the questioning or interrogation techniques used by our police and the MACC on detainees. It is therefore in the interest of all peace loving citizens of this country to know what actually caused the detainees to die while in custody. And unless and until the citizens of this country knows the truth, public trust in both the police and MACC will remain at its lowest.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION