On 12 May, 21-year-old Maisara Amira called a press conference at the Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower), claiming that a plainclothes police officer had threatened to rape her after she was arrested over the anti-GST rally on 1 May
Also at the press conference on Tuesday were her father, Mohamad Asmadi Mohamad Safari, and her legal counsel from Lawyers for Liberty, Sivamalar Genapathy and Mohd Faizal Abdul Rahman.thestar.com.my
Other groups also present during the press conference were Tenaganita and Women's Aid Organisation (WAO).themalaymailonline.com
Maisara, who was the only female among the 23 youths detained for four days over the anti-GST rally, alleged that the police officer also threatened to record the rape on video and sell it when she refused to answer his questions.
“The words he said were this: ‘You want me to rape you? In this room, only you and I are here. In this room, there is a camera and microphone. So if I sell the video, I can be rich.’ Under such circumstances, I was threatened that way,” said the 21-year-old.
The incident is said to have happened between 11.30am to 1.30pm on 5 May several hours before her release.
Maisara further elaborated that the policeman tried to compromise by offering her a chance to talk to a female officer. Otherwise, he will take matters into his own hands.
“He tried again and said ‘This way lah. I’m going to give you a chance. You answer all the questions given by the female officer. If not, I will ask her to get out. I will enter the room. And you settle with me,” she added.thestar.com.my
Maisara is not able to identify the policeman by name, as he was not wearing a uniform nor any form of identification when the incident took place. She also expressed that the incident had left her "traumatised" and "very scared".
"The threat touched on a matter sensitive to me. It was a rape threat and I had to take action because it is my right as a woman. When I come forward and lodge a police report, I want it to be investigated because it cannot be viewed lightly. This is a serious matter. It is a rape threat which shouldn't have happened throughout the investigation period," she said.thestar.com.my
“I am traumatised and very scared now because of that incident,” Maisarah said.freemalaysiatoday.com
Mohamad Asmadi Mohamad Safari said he was worried for his daughter’s safety and urged the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to investigate the matter.thestar.com.my
"The officer involved should be brought to the face of justice. IGP should be involved and do a thorough investigation, his own officer should not have done this," a clearly distraught Asmadi said.themalaymailonline.com
Maisara lodged a report at the Petaling Jaya police headquarters on 8 May. Strangely, she was asked to record her statement at Dang Wangi police station, where the alleged threat took place.
In response, one of Maisara's lawyers G. Sivamalar demanded that the case to be investigated by an independent and unbiased team instead of the Dang Wangi police.
"We want an independent and non-involved team to conduct the investigations. How can the Dang Wangi police conduct the investigations when the initial threat was made there," her lawyer, G. Sivamalar, told reporters at a press conference today.themalaymailonline.com
“We will give the police 48 hours to commence investigations and we are ready to cooperate. We want another police station to investigate (the rape threat) as we need a transparent and accountable investigation,” she stressed.freemalaysiatoday.com
On 13 May, IGP Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed that investigations into Maisara's report has been taken over by a team from the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters. Maisara has also recorded her statement at the Kuala Lumpur district police contingent headquarters.
Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar had earlier told Maisara's lawyer to request her client to come to the KL police headquarters and have her statement recorded to speed up investigations on her allegation. Khalid also said that the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters have recorded statements from six people regarding the case.malaysiakini.com
Empower executive director Maria Chin Abdullah criticised the officer for resorting to such shameful tactics to force information out of a female detainee, despite the police having been trained by women's groups on how to deal with rape cases.
Empower executive director Maria Chin Abdullah called for retraining of the police, as women groups had already lobbied the police to re-evaluate the way they handle their investigations.
“They should be able to understand that if you give a rape threat like this, you should know the impact on the person. In this case, they used sexual harassment and rape threats to extract information from detainees. The police always say they are there to defend violence against women. Yet they themselves are perpetuating violence against women,” said Empower executive director Maria Chin Abdullah.
Puchong MP Gobind Deo Singh also expressed his surprise on the case being initially assigned to Dang Wangi. He also called on the police to restore public confidence of police stations as a place of safety to prevent such an incident from happening again.
He expressed surprise that the case had not been assigned to an independent police team for investigations, saying that they could not afford to have concerns of bias raised if officers from the same station were assigned to investigate her complaint.
“One would have thought this to be elementary. Threats of rape are in themselves most serious in nature, what more where it is alleged to have been made in a police station by an officer whilst the victim was detained in police custody,” said Gobind.
He called on the police to restore public confidence in police stations as places of safety, and for them to do the necessary to weed out “unwanted elements” from the force especially regarding complaints of such a nature.
Meanwhile, an online petition addressed to PM Najib Razak and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has been created, urging for the police officer in question to be brought to justice and terminated for his unprofessional behaviour while on duty