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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 November 2005, 06:06 GMT
Pressure on Malaysia police chief
By Jonathan Kent
BBC News, Kuala Lumpur

Grab from video apparently showing prisoner abuse

Malaysian government and opposition politicians have called for the country's deputy police chief to quit.

Musa Hassan defended a police officer who was filmed forcing a female detainee to strip naked and squat repeatedly while holding both ears.

Mr Musa, the country's deputy inspector general of police, said the practice was standard procedure.

The video of a naked Chinese woman being humiliated in police station has caused widespread outrage in Malaysia.

But Mr Musa has made it clear he believes the real culprit is the person who filmed the incident.

He told reporters that detainees were made to strip and squat in order to dislodge items concealed in their private parts.

Doctors, including one who is a senior member of one of Malaysia's governing parties, says the procedure is not an effective means of conducting a body search.

They want intimate examinations carried out in hospital.


Mr Musa's speedy exoneration of his officer appears to contradict Malaysia's Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi, who has promised a full investigation and no cover-up.

Leaders of all three of Malaysia's main opposition parties and at least one MP from the prime minister's own party are calling for Mr Musa to resign or be sacked.

One minister contacted by the BBC stopped short of that but demanded the police chief immediately explain his remarks.

The prime minister has made reform of Malaysia's police force a priority for his administration.

An independent inquiry held at his behest reported earlier this year and called such police strip search practices a gross infringement of human rights.

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