CHR to investigate “suspicious” death of Abu Saad
CEBU CITY–The Commission on Human Rights in Central Visayas (CHR-7) was supposed to commend the police for arresting a remnant of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Bohol on Thursday alive and without a single scratch on the body.
But in a sudden turn of events, the police in Bohol face an indepth probe after Saad Samad Kiram, alias Abu Saad, was killed three hours after he allegedly escaped from police custody.
CHR-7 Director Arvin Odron found the claim of the police “suspicious” and hence worthy of investigation.
“The person was already arrested, and yet why did he die? That is death in the hands of a law enforcement body or the government—the same entity which is supposed to serve and protect its people regardless of status, whether criminal or not,” he told the Inquirer over the phone.
“He (Kiram) was a suspected terrorist. The police should know that he, at any time, might escape or fight back. They should not have given him the opportunity to escape (if there really was an attempt to flee),” he added.
Odron was in Manila to attend the 30th founding anniversary of the CHR.
He said he would talk to CHR chairman Chito Gascon regarding the matter.
In the meantime, the commission starts to gather information surrounding the death of Kiram.
Odron said they will also coordinate with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to the conduct of an autopsy on Kiram’s body.
“We want to know the trajectory of the bullets that hit him (Kiram). We will determine whether or not he was shot at close range and all other details on the manner he was shot,” he said.
CHR-7 investigators went to Bohol on Friday to secure a copy of the official police report on Kiram’s death to jumpstart their investigation.
“Yesterday, the man was arrested. Today he is dead,” he said.
“Not because he was a suspected terrorist that he should be given an (inhumane) treatment. We must remember that he still is a human being,” he added.
Kiram, one of the three remaining bandits in Bohol, was arrested in Barangay Tanawan, Tubigon town on Thursday morning after he went out of hiding to look for food.
After he was interrogated at the Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO), Kiram was transported to the Bohol District Jail around 1 a.m. on Friday
He was reportedly inside the van with three escorts.
When they reached Cabawan District—about 300 meters from the Bohol District Jail, Kiram sought permission for him to defecate in a grassy area.
However, police claimed that Kiram ran away.
When cornered, he allegedly engaged the policemen in a fistfight.
Kiram was eventually shot by the police in the leg, chest, and head.
Odron said the circumstances surrounding Kiram’s death is highly questionable.
“If he were to defecate, the police should have dropped by the nearest police station. What happened create a thinking that he (Kiram) was asked to ran and then he was shot,” he said.
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