A policeman should not stop being human when putting on the uniform. Rather, policemen should be brave in protecting and promoting human rights as it is not a contradiction to policing, an international human rights expert said Monday.

Commonwealth Secretariat Human Rights head Dr Purna Sen said: “When they don the uniform, they still retain their human being qualities and they inherit rights that all humans possess.

“Protecting and promoting human rights is not a contradiction to policing; in fact, it is complementary,” she said at the opening of the Human Rights Workshop for Asean Police Trainers at the Royal Malaysia Police College in Cheras here today.

Sen noted that it was hard to find any police force in the world which was not subjected to criticism on their human rights record.

“There have been criticisms of Malaysia’s record in policing and sometimes too often, some of them are valid.

“I think it is important the Royal Malaysian Police hear it seriously and see what is valid in them,” she said, adding that the main problem would be if the criticisms were not addressed properly.

The workshop, jointly organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Malaysian Government, is the first of its kind in this region.

Police trainers from Asean countries, excluding Myanmar and Cambodia, are participating in the five-day workshop. Malaysia has sent 17 police trainers for the course.

The course was opened by Home Ministry deputy secretary-general (Security) Datuk Ahmad Fuad Ab Aziz and attended by Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar.