(File pix) Sarawak police have began an internal investigation into a Facebook account for revealing photos of three female suspects allegedly involved in a drug abuse case. AFP Photo

KUCHING: Sarawak police have began an internal investigation into a Facebook account for revealing photos of three female suspects allegedly involved in a drug abuse case.

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief Datuk Dev Kumar said the posting quoted a press release issued by Kuching district police chief Assistant Commissioner Abang Ahmad Julai together with three photos of the suspects.

The posting, he said, received hundreds of comments from netizens denouncing the Facebook page for publishing the photos and the police for releasing the photos.

"We have identified an individual connected with the post and it has been deleted. However, the damage has already been done.

We would like to advise the media, especially online news portals and Facebook pages not to publish photos of suspects without censoring their faces," he said in statement here today.

Any suspects, Dev said, remain innocent until they are proven guilty and convicted in court.

"Publishing or uploading a photo of the suspects before a judicial process could cause them as well as their family members irreparable damage to their reputation, mental trauma and stigmatization in the society," he said.

"Police Commissioner Datuk Amer Awal is taking this matter seriously and has directed an internal investigation to be conducted and the individuals responsible for releasing the photos will be dealt with," he added.

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