Sweden treats Malaysian couple well in prison

21 Jan 2014 / 19:46 H.

    KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 21, 2014): The Swedish authorities have treated the Malaysian couple held in its prison well for allegedly beating their child for not praying.
    According to the Malaysian ambassador to Sweden, Datuk Badruddin Ab Rahman, this included providing the facilities for them to pray, such as a prayer mat. Chairman of the Umno Youth Community Complaints Bureau, Sheikh Nafiq Alfirdaous said Badruddin told him this in a telephone call last night.
    "I was also told that since the case was in the preliminary investigations stage, the remand was necessary until Jan 30 to facilitate investigations and obtain further information," he said.
    "The remand order there has no limitations and no maximum duration like in this country (two weeks)" Sheikh Nafiq told reporters at his office here today.
    The couple, Azizul Raheem Awalludin and his wife, Shalwati Norshal, a teacher on unpaid leave, have been remanded since Dec 18, to help in investigations for allegedly beating their child on the hand for not praying.
    Sheikh Nafiq said the Malaysian embassy in Sweden also informed him that the investigations were subject to three scenarios. One was that the prosecution would forward a charge if there was ample and adequate evidence.
    "Two, if there is inadequate evidence, the remand may be extended, and three, if there is nothing, the case will be dropped and the couple freed," he added.
    He also said the couple would be tried in civil court and a lawyer had been appointed by the Swedish authorities to represent them. He added that the Malaysian embassy had met with the lawyer to obtain further information and was monitoring the situation.
    On the couple's four children, Sheikh Nafiq said his office had contacted the lawyer appointed by the Swedish government and was in the process of arranging for a meeting soon.
    "Our mission is to bring back the children or quickly transfer the temporary custodial rights to a Muslim family. Which is why our legal representative wants to meet with the Swedish lawyer to obtain further clarification," he said.
    The Malaysian Embassy in Sweden had informed that the General Administrative Court, under The Social Services Act and the Care of Young Persons (Special Provisions) Act had placed the children under the observation of social services.
    "The court made the decision based on the principle of "the best interests of the children" and placed them under the chosen family according to its criteria, conditions and laws.
    Sheikh Nafiq also said a representative of the embassy had also obtained permission to meet all the children four days ago. Prior to this, they could only communicate by telephone.
    Sheikh Nafiq said the embassy also informed him that throughout the duration of the case, relations between the two governments were good and both cooperated well.
    "The ambassador also advised that no undesirable or drastic action be taken in Malaysia and asked that activist leaders and the general public remain calm and work together to help resolve the situation without any legal implications," he said.
    Other than the telephone call, Sheikh Nafiq said his office had also met the Swedish Deputy Head of Mission in Malaysia, Minister-Counsellor Sven Theus Malmberg yesterday to get further clarification on the case, including the legal aspects.
    He was aware of the sensitivities of the case and did not want to relate it to Islam and upset the relations between the two countries. Sheikh Nafiq said he was optimistic that the case would be resolved in the near future and the children brought back soon as it did not involve any criminal action. – Bernama


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