Shazeera is a free-lance Malaysian comic artist based in Geneva, Switzerland. She has produced and published her comics and cartoons for the Association for Prevention of Torture (APT), the International Commission of Jurists Thailand, and Asia Legal Resource Centre’s Journal on Torture. She also had her work exhibited as part of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s 2016 Campaign in Countering Violent Extremism and the International Fumetto Comics Festival in Luzern 2019. In 2019, she was part of Malaysia’s ´Cartoonist Against Torture´ coalition launched by the National Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) and her comics was featured as the cover for the Swiss Foreign Department of Foreign Affairs Action Plan Against Torture. Her work has been translated into French, Spanish, Ukrainian and Turkish.
Death in Custody
This artwork is inspired by the issue of death in custody, a huge problem in Malaysia that is the direct result of impunity and failure of the law enforcement to protect the rights of persons detained under their custody. According to official statistics provided by the Home Ministry in a parliamentary reply on March 28, 2017, there are 257 deaths in police custody between 2002 and 2016. In addition to that, there’s also a massive underreporting of deaths in police custody reported in the media.Death in custody remains a huge problem, an anathema to human rights and a threat to public’s confidence in law enforcement.
This artwork is inspired by the cases of fatal police shootings, justified as self defense by police force in Malaysia. However, when these accounts contradict witness’s testimonies, these claims of excessive use of force and fatal shooting were rarely investigated or the independence of the investigations conducted was questioned.. Civil society organisations in Malaysia continue to call for proper inquest to be conducted in order to ensure that the police officers involved can be held accountable. Police’s fatal shootings and use of excessive force in Malaysia will remain a problem due to the widespread of impunity.