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Friday, November 25, 2005

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Malaysia investigates abuse claim

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Malaysia investigates abuse claim Malaysia investigates abuse claim

Malaysia has launched an inquiry after a video emerged which apparently shows a police officer humiliating an ethnic Chinese woman.

The clip, apparently filmed on a mobile phone, purportedly shows the naked woman being forced to squat as she is watched by a woman in uniform.

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said the incident was a severe blow to Malaysia's image.

It follows a number of complaints against police by Chinese tourists.

A Malaysian delegation is due to travel to China next week to mend relations between the two countries.

Outrage

Mr Razak said he took the matter seriously and promised action against those responsible if the incident was genuine.

A Malaysian police spokesman said officers were checking to see who made the recording and where it was filmed.

If police personnel are really involved, then this is police abuse
Azmi Khalid
Interior Minister

Interior Minister Azmi Khalid said the incident should not have happened.

"If police personnel are really involved, then this is police abuse," he said, quoted by the Reuters news agency.

The clip, thought to have been filmed on a mobile phone, appears to show the prisoner and a female police officer.

The officer, who wears a Muslim headscarf, stands in front of the woman, who is forced to strip naked, grasp her ears and squat repeatedly.

It is a punishment common in Malaysian schools and is designed to humiliate, says the BBC's Jonathan Kent in Kuala Lumpur.

The pictures are accompanied by what appears to be a recording of verses from the Koran being recited, although it is unclear if the recording would have been audible to the woman.

The pictures were passed to an opposition lawmaker who released them in the lobby of the Malaysian parliament.

Profiling

Mr Khalid is due to fly to Beijing next Wednesday to placate the Chinese over the treatment of their tourists in Malaysia.

There has been a marked drop in Chinese tourists visiting Malaysia since reports of the alleged abuses surfaced.

A number of Chinese women have claimed they were forced to strip in Malaysian police stations while being spied upon.

Malaysian immigration officers have also been accused of profiling young female Chinese visitors as would-be prostitutes.

Story from BBC NEWS:

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