Saturday, 12 May 2012

DAP joins boycott of Hanif-led panel

DAP will be boycotting the six-member independent panel led by former inspector-general of police Hanif Omar to probe the violence in Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28.

NONE"DAP declares a full boycott of the independent panel ... so long as Hanif Omar is a chairman and member, as he has compromised his impartiality by publicly condemning Bersih 3.0 as communist-linked and an attempt to overthrow the government," said DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

The boycott comes hot in the heels of Bar Council's announcement yesterday that it would snub the panel, following a similar move by Bersih leaders.

"Hanif is first and foremost disqualified from serving on the investigation panel due to a conflict of interest as not only is the police force being accused (of violence), he has publicly condemned Bersih thereby revealing his prejudice and bias against the rally.

"By linking Bersih to communism, Hanif is still fighting yesterday's long-concluded wars, making the outcome of these investigations a foregone conclusion," said Lim.

Hanif should appear as witness instead

The Penang CM stressed that the issue was not whether Hanif had been impartial in his past investigations, but rather that he has taken a partisan stance, and he should instead appear as a witness.

Lim also backed Bersih's call for the panel to be led by United Nation special rapporteurs Frank William La Rue and Maina Kiai, as well as the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam).

"DAP agrees with the Bar Council that the independent panel lacks any legal framework and features as legal immunity for those involved in the proceeding as well as lacking legal power to subpoena witnesses or call for the production of documents."

Lim said that with the present set-up of the panel, it appeared to be an attempt to whitewash police brutality and the suffering of the victims on that day or to justify the ruling coalition claims that the rally was aimed at toppling the government.

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