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14-year-old jumps to his death after unaccompanied police interrogation

14岁青少年在被警方带回警局问话后回家跳楼自杀

 

编者按:

1.这是一份有关14岁青少年跳楼自杀的采访报道。TOC的记者TERRY XU直接采访了有关事件青少年的母亲。本文中的题目为编者加上。特此说明。

 

2.《儿童权利保护公约》

第四十条 2、

为此目的,并鉴于国际文书的有关规定,缔约国尤应确保;

(A)任何儿童不得以行为或不行为之时本国法律或国际法不禁止的行为或不行为之理由被指称、指控或认为触犯刑法;

(B)所有被指称或指控触犯列法的儿童至少应得到下列保证:

(一) 在依法判定有罪之前应视为无罪;

(二) 迅速直接地被告知其被控罪名,适当时应通过其父母或法定监护人告知,并获得准备和提出辩护所需的法律或其他适当协助;

(三)要求独立公正的主管当局或司法机构在其得到法律或其他适当协助的情况下,通过依法公正审理迅速作出判决,并且须有其父母或法定监护人在场,除非认为这样做不符合儿童的最大利益,特别 要考虑到其年龄成状况;

(四)不得被迫作口供或认罪;应可盘问或要求盘问不利的证人,并在平等条件下要求证人为其出庭和接受盘问;

(五)若被判定触犯刑法,有权要求高一级独立公正的主管当局或司法机构依法复查此一判决及由此对之采取的任何措施;

(六)若儿童不懂或不会说所用语言,有权免费得到口译人员的 协助;

(七)其隐私在诉讼的所有阶段均得到充分尊重。

3、缔约国应致力于促进规定或建立专门适用于被指称、指控或确认为触犯刑法的儿童的法律、程序、当局和机构,尤应:

(A)规定最低年龄,在此年铃以下的儿童应视为无触犯刑法之 行为能力;

(B)在适当和必要时,制订不对此类儿童诉诸司法程序的措施,但须充分尊重人权和法律保障。
4、应采用多种处理办法,诸如照管、指导和监督令、辅导、察看、寄养、教育和职业培训方案及不交由机构照管的其他办法,以确保处理儿童的方式符合其福祉并与其情况和违法行为相称。

index

学校颁发教育基金

孩子从国会议员手中接过教育助学金(这张照片是有孩子的母亲提供的)

14岁青少年林俊辉(Lim Jun Hui)在2016年1月26日被发现死亡。迹象显示他是从自己在义顺的住家14楼跳下。家人和朋友目前还在寻找孩子的这起意外死亡事件。
2016年1月26日早上,五名便衣警方人员到他的学校。他被警方人员带回警察局协助调查有关一项指控他对一名未成年的女孩子非礼的事件。警方出示了有关一名未具名的邻居对他的投诉。指他在1月25日尾随一名女孩进入靠近她的住家的电梯。并对她进行非礼。警方也说,他们已经到学校调查,“以便确定有关的事件的学生与在上述组屋电梯入口处的闭路视频的摄像镜头”

青少年被带到宏茂桥区警察总部接受警方盘问超过3小时,过后以2千元担保释放。在他与母亲和姐姐回家不久。他把自己锁在卧室里后从家里的窗口跳出去。他并没有留下任何的遗言。警方已经确认这是一起非自然死亡事件。

在上个星期三,新加坡警方发表一篇声明说,他的母亲是被通知的。警方会及时的告知他的母亲有关在协助调查最新情况。警方补充说,在盘问期间他一直与警方合作。他是在星期二下午2点30分获的释放的。

TOC网站采访了他的家人,以试图找出有关他死亡前的更多的情况。

五名将方便衣人员在上课时间把他从学校带走。

他的母亲,TENG女士说,她是在星期二早上接获儿子手机打来的电话。一名警方人员告诉她,她的儿子正在协助警方调查一起有关非礼的案件,警方告诉她在当天下午约三点钟左右到警察局带回孩子。

TENG女士要求与儿子通话。根据她的反映,儿子与她交谈过程表示,自己并没有涉嫌非礼。但是,由于警方 人员把电话拿走了,她也无法继续与儿子通话了。
家人被拒绝探访青少年

TENG女士说,她曾向同一名警方人员提出要求,自己是否可以到学校会见孩子?无论如何,警方人员告诉她,这是不必要的。反过来,警方人员告诉她等他们的回电。接着,警方人员就把电话挂上了。

在警方人员挂上电话后,TENG女士立即与女儿一起赶到儿子的学校,一边查明事情的真相。当他们抵达学校后,他们感到吃惊,儿子已经被警方人员带走了。儿子被警方人员带走时,学校里并没有派任何人陪同。

根据TENG女士反映,学校里没有任何人可以告诉(她)到底发生了什么事。学校的训育主任只是口头上告诉她被指控涉嫌非礼案件。

当天下午大约一点钟。警方打电话到家里,告诉她,儿子已经在一起涉嫌非礼案件被拘捕。

在接听完电话后,她与女儿一起感到宏茂桥警察区部,并要求会见儿子,但是,她的请求被拒绝了。

为此,TENG女士在警察局接待处等待了半个小时后,以为警官通知她跟随着。她被领到一间会见室与一名讲华语的警官见面。这名警官问了她有关孩子的行为和在学校的成绩的情况。
TENG女士告诉记者说。“我感到惊讶,为什么他们不是带我去见我孩子,而是盘问我有关孩子的行为和学校的学习情况。”
孩子在大约下午2点50分左右被释放。孩子或者TENG女士接获了警方有关的声明。

“既然你说我犯法,我就是犯法”

警方发言人说,在星期三当天。青少年在2小时的盘问过程中并没有‘出现任何过分苦恼的迹象’。

TENG女士告诉TOC说,无论如何,她儿子在释放后就变成了一个人了。他手脚冰冷和寡言。他的姐姐补充说,弟弟的表现似乎有点“惊吓”的样子。他的姐姐也质疑警方对她的弟弟精神评估,“警方怎么证明阿海没有 ‘出现任何过分苦恼的迹象’。

在他们乘搭地铁回家的时候,TENG女士在地铁站问孩子是否真的非礼那个女孩子。孩子回答说,他并没有。

TENG女士问他,“为什么你要向他们承认呢?”

TENG说,孩子回应说,“既然你说我犯法,那我就是犯法。”

TENG女士说,她告诉孩子,假设自己没有做错,那就不应该承认自己犯法啊。

在她还要与孩子交谈时继续谈下去时列车已经抵达。他们只好停止继续交谈。

孩子把自己反锁在卧室里

准备参加露营行装

这是青少年为参加学校的露营活动准备的行装

在接受了警方的盘问后,青少年准备去参加学校举办的一项露营活动。但是,在回到家里不久,一名学校活动辅导老师打电话告诉TENG女士,他的孩子(这个时候)不适合参加学校举办的露营活动。孩子应该留在家里。TENG女士还未来得及与辅导老师继续讨论这个问题时,对方在通知有关的决定已经迅速把电话挂断了。

TENG女士说,孩子在听到她转告有关学校的决定后并没有表现如何明显的情绪迹象。

当最后见到孩子时,他正在玩着自己的手机。过一会儿,她发现孩子的卧室门关着。平时卧室的房门时开着的。她的灵敏感觉一定会有事情发生,她用备用钥匙打开卧室房门。但是,她不见孩子在卧室里。

窗前电风扇

这是青少年的卧室的窗户

桌子上的电风扇是孩子移开以便通向窗口的。那扇开着窗口估计就是孩子爬出窗外的。

事发的窗前边缘

这可能是青少年站在窗沿掉下楼之处

卧室的窗户是开着,孩子使用的那把风扇被安放在地上。TENG女士心里感到恐惧了。她立即飞奔到楼下。她伤心的哭着告诉TOC记者。当她看到眼前地上的是一具孩子死亡身躯。

TENG女士说,当跑到楼下时,警方已经抵达现场。警方人员尝试阻止他接近孩子的尸体,但是,她坚持要见自己的孩子。

坠楼地点

这是发现孩子尸体的地方

一个在学校讨人喜欢的学生和在受家人疼爱的孩子

孩子的父亲说,她的孩子是一个很懂事的孩子。他知道家里的经济并不富裕。为了减轻家里经济负担,他到麦当劳做临时工。

TENG女士说,孩子深受同事们的爱戴。

“在麦当劳的叔叔阿姨们都称赞他是一个乐意帮忙他人和友善的孩子”。TENG女士的眼里含泪的微笑回忆说,“在麦当劳的叔叔阿姨们恭喜我有这样一个好孩子。”

孩子在伙伴当中也是深受欢迎的。那些在学生警察里的同学(National Police Cadet Corps (NPCC))在出席他的葬礼时,给予我们家人致以特别敬意为他告别。

朋友的婉言

孩子的朋友给他的悼念留言卡

他们还呈现了他的军衔。

朋友家人最后敬意铺满床上

悼念孩子的婉辞铺满了孩子的睡床

 

学校的反应

当我们访问的德新中学时,副校长拒绝我们的采访。他派来两位职员接收了我们提出的问题。我们至今尚未收到他们的回复。

《新报》已经和学校校长接触了。以下是校长的谈话。

“当便衣警察来到学校时,我们经过谨慎考虑后把学生带到办公室与警察见面。”

《新报》也说,校长确认说,

孩子是在吃完了他食物后才被警察带走的。

不论《新报》所报道是啥,孩子的父亲告诉TOC,他希望孩子不是通过学校的人事部被传召的校长办公室。

根据林先生说,

他的孩子换吃完午餐就被传召了。他在去了校长办公室后,被允许在学校辅导员的陪同下回到餐厅。

据报道,只允许一名便衣警察在副校长和训育主任在场下与孩子谈话。

林先生对于学校当局的反应感到失望。他告诉TOC,

校长并没有为他提供任何有关孩子与警察之间的发生事情的经过。这包括学校决定不让孩子参与学校的露营活动。

TENG女士告诉TOC,她相信,

孩子在听到有关不让他参与学校的露营活动的讯息是促使更加决意跳楼的决心。因为这是孩子把自己反锁在卧室里最后听到的信息。

对警方感到失望

林先生说,他问了警方许多问题,但是他们的标准答案是:

“没意见。”

他说,

“他们非常的傲慢和不负责任”。

根据林先生说,在孩子逝世后的第三天警方联系了他,要他到宏茂桥区警察总部见面。

林先生拒绝了。因为他不愿意在孩子被盘问的地点与他们见面。

TENG女士说,她要求会见负责盘问孩子的警官,

“只有他才能够告诉事情的真相。”

看来整个盘问过程是没有进行录音的。在新加坡的现有法律下爆粗语言的非礼不是属于可以被拘捕的。除非被指控的犯罪者的行径被当场逮住。

林先生悲痛的说。

“我的孩子的死是冤枉的。为什么他们不能够等学校放学后才带走他呢?”

“我的孩子死的时候眼睛是睁开着的!”

林先生告诉媒体,

道士尝试要把孩子的眼睛闭上,但是,孩子的眼睛还是睁开着!

当TOC问他,是否考虑向采取法律行动起诉警方时,林先生说,

“我们的家庭情况并没有能力这么做。因为我们不知这样法律诉讼要进行多久。尽管我们是穷人,我们是有自己的尊严的。”

TOC已经向警方探询了有关事件。我们将会及时向大家汇报有关情况的进展。

 相关链接视频

事件的回放视频网址:

14-year-old jumps to his death after unaccompanied police interrogation

By Terry Xu on January 31, 2016 Social Justice

Noted:

(1)Related link:http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2016/01/14-year-old-jumps-to-his-death-after-unaccompanied-police-interrogation/

(2)the Rights of the Child (CRC),

Section 40, 2(b):
Article 40

2. To this end and having regard to the relevant provisions of international instruments, States Parties shall, in particular, ensure that:

(a) No child shall be alleged as, be accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law by reason of acts or omissions that were not prohibited by national or international law at the time they were committed;

(b) Every child alleged as or accused of having infringed the penal law has at least the following guarantees:
(i) To be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law;
(ii) To be informed promptly and directly of the charges against him or her, and, if appropriate, through his or her parents or legal guardians and to have legal or other appropriate assistance in the preparation and presentation of his or her defence;
(iii) To have the matter determined without delay by a competent, independent and impartial authority or judicial body in a fair hearing according to law, in the presence of legal or other appropriate assistance and, unless it is considered not to be in the best interest of the child, in particular, taking into account his or her age or situation, his or her parents or legal guardians;
(iv) Not to be compelled to give testimony or to confess guilt; to examine or have examined adverse witnesses and to obtain the participation and examination of witnesses on his or her behalf under conditions of equality;
(v) If considered to have infringed the penal law, to have this decision and any measures imposed in consequence thereof reviewed by a higher competent, independent and impartial authority or judicial body according to law;
(vi) To have the free assistance of an interpreter if the child cannot understand or speak the language used;
(vii) To have his or her privacy fully respected at all stages of the proceedings. 3. States Parties shall seek to promote the establishment of laws, procedures, authorities and institutions specifically applicable to children alleged as, accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law, and, in particular:
(a) The establishment of a minimum age below which children shall be presumed not to have the capacity to infringe the penal law;
(b) Whenever appropriate and desirable, measures for dealing with such children without resorting to judicial proceedings, providing that human rights and legal safeguards are fully respected.
4. A variety of dispositions, such as care, guidance and supervision orders; counselling; probation; foster care; education and vocational training programmes and other alternatives to institutional care shall be available to ensure that children are dealt with in a manner appropriate to their well-being and proportionate both to their circumstances and the offence.

学校颁发教育基金

Benjamin Lim receiving his edusave award from MP Irene Ng. (Permission to post Benjamin’s photo given by his parents.)

Fourteen-year-old Benjamin Lim Jun Hui was found dead late Tuesday. He had apparently jumped off a ledge outside his 14th-floor flat in Yishun. Family and friends are still trying to make sense of the boy’s unexpected demise.

Five plainclothes police officers showed up at Benjamin’s school on Tuesday morning. He was taken away for questioning for allegedly outraging the modesty of an 11-year-old girl. Police shared that an anonymous neighbour had filed a report against Benjamin. On Monday, the 25th of January, he had allegedly followed the girl into a lift at a block of flats nearby, and molested her. Police also said that they had visited the school “to establish the identity of a student who was captured on closed-circuit television footage at the lift lobby of an HDB block”.

Benjamin was taken to the Ang Mo Kio Police Division Headquarters where he was interviewed for more than three hours by the police, before being released on a $2,000 bail. Shortly after returning home with his mother and sister, he locked himself in his room and jumped out the window. He did not leave a note. Police has classified the case as an unnatural death.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Singapore Police Force said that Benjamin’s mother had been informed and updated on the status of the investigations at various stages. They added that Benjamin had cooperated fully with the investigation before being released at around 2.50 pm on Tuesday.

TOC approached Benjamin’s family to find out more about the circumstances behind his death.

Five-plainclothes police officers picked Benjamin up from school during school hours

Benjamin’s mother, Mdm Teng, said she received a call from her son’s handphone on Tuesday morning. A police officer informed her that Benjamin was assisting in an investigation of a case of molestation, and told her to pick him up from the police station at around 3pm.

Mdm Teng said she then asked to speak with her son. According to her, Benjamin told her during the conversation that he did not commit the alleged offence. But before he could continue any further, the phone was taken away by the police officer.

Family denied access to teen

Mdm Teng said she asked the same police officer if she could go to the school to see her son. However, she was told it was not necessary for her to do so. Instead, she was instructed to wait for police to call her. The officer then hung up.

Immediately after the police officer hung up on her, Mdm Teng and her daughter went to Benjamin’s school hoping to find out what was going on. When they arrived, they were shocked to discover that Benjamin had already been taken away by police. He was not accompanied by anyone from the school.

According to Mdm Teng, no one at the school could tell her what was going on. The Discipline Master was only able to give her vague details about Benjamin being accused of molestation.

At about 1pm, the police called Benjamin’s home again and told Mdm Teng that her son had been arrested for molestation.

Mdm Teng and her daughter then made their way to the Ang Mo Kio Police Division Headquarters and requested to see Benjamin. However, the request was denied.

According to Mdm Teng, she waited for about half an hour at the reception area before a police inspector asked her to follow him. She was then brought to an interview room where a Chinese-speaking officer questioned her about Benjamin’s conduct and grades at school.

“I was puzzled why they brought me to be interviewed instead of bringing me to see my son,” Mdm Teng told TOC.

The interviewing officer then told her Benjamin had confessed to commiting a crime, and that the offence had been captured on CCTV footage. Mdm Teng said she told the officer she could not believe her son would do such a thing and requested to see the CCTV footage. She said the police told her, “This is the police’s investigation, not your investigation.”

Benjamin was released at about 2.50pm. Neither he nor Mdm Teng received a copy of their police statement.

“You say I am guilty, I’m guilty then.”

The SPF noted on Wednesday that Benjamin had not “exhibited any signs of being unduly distressed” throughout his two-hour engagement with them.

However, Mdm Teng told TOC that her son was not his usual self following his release. His hands were freezing cold and he hardly spoke. Benjamin’s sister added that he appeared somewhat “stunned”. She also queried the police’s assessment of her brother’s state of mind. “How can the police prove that Ah Hui (Benjamin) did not show any sign of being duly distressed?”

While waiting for the train at the MRT station, Mdm Teng asked Benjamin if he had indeed molested the girl. Benjamin told her he had not.

She then asked him, “Why then did you confess?”

According to Mdm Teng, this was what Benjamin said: “You say I am guilty, I’m guilty then.”

Mdm Teng said she told her son that he should not have admitted to the crime if he did not do it.

Before she could continue, the train came and they had to stop their conversation.

Locked himself in his room

准备参加露营行装

Benjamin’s packed bag for the school camp

Prior to the police interrogation, Benjamin had been looking forward to attending a school camp. But shortly after returning home, a school counsellor called Mdm Teng to inform her that it was not appropriate for her son to attend the camp. He was told to stay at home instead. Mdm Teng said she was not able to discuss the issue further with the counsellor, who hung up promptly after delivering the message.

Mdm Teng said Benjamin showed no visible signs of emotion when she informed him of the school’s decision.

When Mdm Teng last saw Benjamin, he was playing with his handphone. A little later, she discovered that his bedroom door, which was normally kept open, was closed. Sensing that something was amiss, she used a spare key to get into the room. Benjamin was nowhere to be seen.

窗前电风扇

The table fan that Benjamin removed to access

the window, The opened window in the background is assumed to be the one he climbed out of.

事发的窗前边缘

The ledge that Benjamin might have stood and jumped off.

The window was open, and a table fan that once sat on Benjamin’s table was on the floor. Fearing the worst, Mdm Teng rushed to the ground floor. She cried as she told TOC what she saw next: her son’s body lying motionless on the ground.

Mdm Teng said that police were already on site when she arrived downstairs. They tried to stop her from going near Benjamin, but she insisted on seeing him.

坠楼地点

The area in which Benjamin’s body was found.

Benjamin’s father said his son was a thoughtful young man who understood that his family was not financially well-off, and had been working part-time at McDonald’s to help lighten their burden.

His mother said he was well-liked by his co-workers.

“Many of the aunties there praised him for being a helpful and friendly boy,” she recalled with a smile and tears in her eyes. “They congratulated me for having such a good son.”

Benjamin was also popular with his peers. Friends from the National Police Cadet Corps (NPCC) attended his wake and gave his family a special tribute to their departed friend.

朋友的婉言

Messages of praise for Benjamin from his friends.

They also presented Benjamin with his sergeant rank.

朋友家人最后敬意铺满床上

Tribute from family and friends laid across Benjamin’s bed.

The school’s reaction

When TOC visited Northview Secondary School, the vice-principal declined to be interviewed and sent two staff members to receive our questions. We have yet to receive any answers.

The New Paper, however, managed to speak to the principal. This is what he said:

“When the plainclothes police officers came to the school, we were discreet in bringing the student to the office to meet with the police.”

The New Paper also reported that the principal ensured that the boy was able to finish his meal before being taken to the police station.

Despite the report, questions remain. Benjamin’s father told TOC he hoped

the boy wasn’t summoned to the principal’s office via the school’s PA system. According to Mr Lim, his son had also not finished lunch when he was called.

He was only allowed to return to the canteen with a counsellor, after visiting the principal’s office.

It was reported that

only one plainclothes officer was allowed to talk to Benjamin, in the presence of the vice-principal and discipline master.

Mr Lim expressed disappointment over the response by the school authorities. He told TOC

the principal did not share any information about what transpired between the police and his son at school, neither did the school explain the decision to exclude Benjamin from the school camp.

Mdm Teng told TOC she believed that

news of the school not letting Benjamin attend the camp must have contributed to his decision to jump. She said it was the last thing the boy heard before locking himself in his room.

Disappointing response by the police

Mr Lim said he asked the police numerous questions, but their standard reply was,

“No comment.”

“They are very arrogant and irresponsible,”

he told TOC.

According to Mr Lim, police called him three days after Benjamin’s passing, asking for a meeting at the Ang Mo Kio Police Division Headquarters.

He said he declined

because he did not want to see them at the place where his son was interrogated.

Mdm Teng said she had asked to see the police officer who interviewed her son.

“Only he would know what happened,” she said.

It is unlikely the interview was recorded. Outrage of modesty is not a seizable offence under Singapore law unless the alleged perpertrator is caught in the act.

“My son died a very unjustified death,”

exclaimed Mr Lim.

“Why couldn’t they have waited until school was over? Why couldn’t they have waited till his parents were around?”

“My son died with his eyes open,”

Mdm Teng added. Mr Lim had earlier told media that

a priest had tried to close his son’s eyes but they kept reopening.

When asked if the family would take action against the police, Mr Lim said,

“My family is not so well-to-do so we do not know how far we can pursue the case. But although we are poor, we have our dignity.”

TOC has sent queries to the SPF and will provide updates in the event of a response.

NOTE: TOC has received permission from the parents to share the photo of Benjamin. Benjamin is 14 years old and considered a minor, but what protection do minor’s have, especially in such a case where one has so tragically died under such problematic circumstances?

If the authorities are concerned with protecting minors, the police should consider whether its policies related to the arrest of minors (below age of 16) are appropriate, and in compliance with the UN Convention to the Rights of the Child (CRC), Section 40, 2(b) that Singapore is a signatory to.

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