Borneo: Loggers are prone to rape more than just forests

It has been three months since the Swiss-based NGO, the Bruno Manser
Foundation(BMF) released the press statement on the rape and sexual
abuse of young Penan women by logging company workers. It has been two
months since The Star followed up the BMF press statement and provided
details of rape and sexual abuses in Middle Baram in Miri Division,
Sarawak. Two young Penan mothers had since been sheltered by NGOs and
friends in Kuala Lumpur and they had made two police reports with
Bukit Aman. KL-based NGOs continue to cooperate with the Sexual
Assault Unit of the Police Headquarters in Bukit Aman. The NGOs have
facilitated the presence of the Penan women at Bukit Aman each and
every time such requests were made by the unit for the Penan women to
provide statements and clarification. Such cooperation has been
progressing well on a professional level, with the last session taking
place yesterday, 9thDecember 2008.

Under such circumstances, it is
highly inappropriate for the IGP and the Bukit Aman CID head to make
public statements contrary to such cooperation and its on-going
investigation. We are puzzled by statements from the police suggesting
that the police’s initial investigations show that there is no case to
prosecute. This seems like a repeat of what happened to the 1994
NGO-facilitated rape report of a 12-year-old Penan girl which gave
more than sufficient details and information to enable the police to
nab the rapist and the other perpetrators. Yet we were only informed
recently that that case had been thrown out by AG’s chambers due to
insufficient evidence gatheredby the police. We are providing copies
of the police reports made in 1995 regarding this case to demonstrate
the leads and names mentioned that should have led police to at least
an arrest. We also condemn the outright attempts at white-washing the
latest rape and sexual abuse cases by the Sarawak-based The Borneo
Post newspaper on numerous occasions. The Borneo Post’s reporting on
the issue reflects blatant biasedness and lack of journalistic

Posted via email from Deane’s posterous

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