KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — A student arrested for alleged acts of violence during the Bersih 3.0 rally was allegedly asked by police while under detention whether he masturbated or was involved in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LBGT) activities.
Lawyers for student activist Khalid Ismath, who was arrested for allegedly kicking a policeman during the Bersih 3.0 rally, today expressed “shock” over the interrogation tactics used by the authorities on Khalid, “who had willingly surrendered to the police to assist investigation”.
“Khalid was asked many times if he likes to masturbate,” Latheefa told a press conference at the PKR headquarters here today.
“They also asked him if he was involved in LGBT activities, why he was on Facebook as it belonged to a Jew, and why he was paying so much for his Internet bills as the money was being contributed to Jews,” she added.
She stressed these questions had nothing to do with ongoing investigations into the alleged violence and were instead similar to questions posed to detainees under the now-abolished ISA (Internal Security Act).
“What have these things got to do with the reason why he was arrested?” she asked.
Latheefa said the questions were a form of “sexual harassment” and also claimed that Khalid was tortured while under detention.
“When Khalid was in detention, he was kept in a cold room with the air-conditioner and fan turned on. This was a way to pressure him. It’s a form of torture,” the fiery lawyer said.
Her colleague N. Surendran also alleged that the ongoing investigation into Bersih “is not actually a genuine investigation”.
“It is a political propaganda investigation in order to further the agenda of Umno and Barisan Nasional,” Surendran, who is also PKR vice-president, said.
“The police are being manipulated, used, with the agreement of the top police leadership to carry out political investigations against innocent civilians, citizens who were participants in Bersih 3.0,” he added, likening the interrogation tactics used on Khalid to “terror tactics used in Syria by Assad’s forces”.
“Their intention is to frighten people so they can no longer gather peacefully outside, question the government and put fear in those who were brave enough to peacefully gather in the city on April 28.”