Saturday, 12 May 2012

Set up IPCMC, tender apology

The Bar passed 16 resolutions at its EGM today, among others urging the home minister and IGP to apologise for the police brutality during Bersih 3.0.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Bar Council renewed its calls for the government to set up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) in the aftermath of the Bersih 3.0 rally.

This key point is one of the 12 resolutions passed at the Bar Council’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM) today.

Out of 1,270 members who attended the EGM, 936 voted in favour of the resolutions, 16 opposed with no abstentions. The rest did not vote on the resolutions.

Speaking at a press conference later, its president Lim Chee Wee said the violence that took place during the rally was clear proof that the government must set up the IPCMC without delay.

“It’s obvious that the police cannot police themselves,” he added.

On April 28, scores of protesters and journalists were assaulted by the police during the mammoth rally.

Minister, police must apologise

Lim also called upon Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar to issue a public apology for the conduct of the police on that day and the indiscriminate use of tear gas and water cannons during the rally.

“The Bersih rally in four other places like Kuantan, Johor, Malacca and Ipoh went on smoothly as the police facilitated and cooperated with the demonstrators. But in Kuala Lumpur, the situation was totally the opposite,” he said.

Although Lim admitted that his monitoring team had confirmed reports that some of the protesters had breached a police barricade, he said that did not justify the police’s high-handed actions.
“The police should have isolated the area and the specific protesters. Instead, they launched attacks on all demonstrators,” he said.

Lim added that the police did not provide enough time frame and space for the crowd to disperse.
“Suhakam recommended that the police should launch tear gas after three warnings at an interval of 10 minutes. But during Bersih, our monitoring team reported that warnings were only given at two minute intervals,” he said.

Lim also urged Hishammuddin and Ismail to apologise to all those who were assaulted on that day, including lawyers and journalists.

“The government should offer due compensation to those who were beaten up by the police,” he added.
On his next course of action. Lim said he would establish a team of volunteers to assist the victims of police brutality.

“We will provide advise to them on how to seek legal redress but it will be up to them whether they want to pursue the case or otherwise,” he added.

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