Monday, 30 July 2012

Teacher at Bersih rally 'beaten up, kicked by cops'

Police personnel barged into a hotel in Kuala Lumpur to arrest those who had taken part in the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28, allegedly assaulting a teacher who was trying to suurender.

Goh Ban Huat, 48, who teaches at the Chong Hwa Independent High School, told the public inquiry being conducted by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) that he went to the rally with 12 friends.

bersih 3 rally 040512 zw01He was at Dataran Merdeka about 3pm when the riot squad launched tear gas at the "thousands" gathered there.

"About three to four tear gas canisters landed where we were standing. The crowd was pushing and shoving, trying to get out. It was really crammed, but everyone was forced to retreat.

He and his friends took refuge in the Swiss Inn Hotel in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

"We saw people running into the hotel and we followed. The hotel staff refused to let us in but we managed to push through,” he told the three-member panel headed by Suhakam vice-chairperson Khaw Lake Tee.

"I was in the lobby when the police came. They kicked the door open, barged in without authorisation and went after everyone. I saw them going into the toilets and dragging people out by the collar.”

‘Catch them all’

When he heard a police officer shout "Catch them, catch them all", he decided to surrender.

Goh said he walked out of the hotel trusting that he would not be assaulted, unlike those who resisted.

"But I was wrong. When I went out, they beat me up and kicked me, right near the ribs, before they arrested and took me to the (Royal Selangor) club at Dataran Merdeka."

He was later taken to the Police Training Centre, but released after his details were recorded.

Khaw is assisted by commissioners Detta Samen and Mahmood Zuhdi A Majid. 

The inquiry will resume on Wednesday with testimony from three more witnesses.

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