Naked, beaten and low blowed to the groin, a mechanic's painful tale of a Sosma arrest
KUALA LUMPUR – He was stripped naked; bereft of even a single thread covering his battered and bruised body which pulsated even more painfully upon the icy touch of the concrete floor of a detention centre.
He knew neither the time nor the day.
How long has it been since he was arrested for a grenade attack at a nightclub, he allegedly was complicit of? He had no idea. It could be two days, a week or even a fortnight.
After a while has passed, a police officer entered the cell where he was detained without trial. He was shown and asked to sign a confession of guilt; one which he did not write, let alone confessed when he was beaten to a pulp earlier.
Almost immediately, Nur Redzwan Wan Redzman refused to oblige the attempted coercion aimed to squeeze a forced admission out of him. He was adamant of his innocence.
And just as swiftly as he answered, an unbearable mixture of sharp pain and discomfort clawed the workshop mechanic's groin. The officer had dealt him a low blow that he was woefully unprepared for.
“I was beaten like a punching bag,” Nur Redzwan recounted the trauma he had to endure when he was detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) in 2016.
The police arrested him at his home, accusing him of lending support and being in cahoots in the infamous Movida nightclub grenade attack in Puchong in 2016, that injured eight.
“They think I am one of the culprits because I was in a Whatsapp group that the other suspects were in, but the thing is, I joined it because the group was initially keep me updated on news about Palestine and Syria.
“Two police officers interrogated me. They were non-Muslims and they accused me of committing the wrong kind of ‘jihad’. I find it rather disrespectful for them to simply talk about the concept from a faith they do not prescribe to,” he continued.
A pregnant pause ensued as Nur Redzwan halted his story telling; it looked as if he needed to calm himself down, that the worst was over.
The audience who came to listen to his cautionary tale on Sosma at the Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, here today, waited attentively for him to resume, at his own pace.
“I remember how the judge who presided over my case, at the KL High Court berated the prosecution for submitting facts instead of evidence of my alleged crime.
“At one point, the judge even wanted to strike out the case, but the prosecution refused, claiming there were orders from Putrajaya that wanted it to be pursued by hook or by crook.
“Eventually, the judge advised me to just admit to the crime, regardless of my innocence because the judge did not want me to be detained under Sosma any longer than I should,” said Nur Redzwan.
To the unfamiliar, Sosma was introduced as a response to national security concerns; it was supposed to fill the void left by the draconian Internal Security Act that was repealed in 2012.
Sosma granted police enhanced powers to combat security threats but what made it even more controversial was the 28-day detention without trial clause, which has faced criticisms over accusations of misuse and human rights violations.
When he was thrown into the Sungai Buloh prison exactly 28 days after his detention, Nur Redzwan had plenty of opportunity to speak and air his grievances to then-jailed Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim – who is currently Malaysia’s Prime Minister.
“On every Saturday and Sunday, he would mingle with us detainees of Sosma. He would lead our prayer and deliver sermons.
“He told us that Sosma is ridiculous and that the country will be rid of it once he comes to power but now, I am a bit disheartened, he knew what we have gone through and yet...” Nur Redzwan stopped short from finishing his sentence.
His sudden truncation was understandable. Anwar is already PM now and yet Sosma is still here.
In fact, yesterday Deputy Inspector General of Police Datuk Seri Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, mooted the expansion of Sosma to cover several offences including, smuggling of contraband cigarettes and alcohol.
“I hope, he will give, not just me – but everyone who were wronged by Sosma – justice. He promised us, so,” Nur Redzwan continued.
“I hope my story will reach him and if Sosma is indeed still needed, then I hope the government will discuss with us first if they ever want to strengthen it,” remarked Nur Redzwan who was freed from prison in 2018.