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PUBLISHED: May 21, 2015 6:34pm

‘Inaction over rape threat sends wrong message’

maisara-L

RAJINA DHILLON By:
Rajina Dhillon

Maisara Amira at a press conference earlier this month where she alleged a police officer had threatened to rape her. Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower) and Lawyers for Liberty are demanding that the officer involved be suspended immediately. — TRP file pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 21, 2015:

Civil groups have chided police for not suspending the officer who allegedly threatened to rape Maisara Amira, 21, after she was detained over the May Day rally.

Both Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower) and Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) said police should not sweep it “under the carpet” and demanded that the officer involved to be suspended immediately.

The “business-as-usual” attitude, they said, was shocking as there had been several instances of rapes and sexual assaults perpetrated by police personnel in and out of police stations.

“The apathetic attitude and inaction of the police unfortunately sends the wrong message that they are not taking rape threats or violence against women seriously and are not prioritising the safety and welfare of women detainees.

“This apathetic attitude is further compounded by the fact that to date, contrary to the norm, Maisara had yet to be called by police to attend an identification parade to identify the perpetrator,” they claimed in a joint statement.

They went on to remind police that such threats were “steeped” in a culture of misogyny and sexism, thus they should not treat as normal these threats.

Maisara, 21, the only female among 23 youths arrested on May 1 in connection with the May Day rally, alleged that a police officer threatened to rape her before she was released on May 5.

She lodged a police report over the matter at the Petaling Jaya police headquarters on May 8.

The issue prompted her lawyers and civil groups to call for an independent investigation into Maisara’s allegation, with Bukit Aman having taken over investigations into the allegation.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Tajuddin Md Isa said earlier this week that the Attorney-General’s Chambers had returned the investigation papers on the threat.

He also said that the officer was identified, but he was allowed to continue with his duties pending investigations.

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