Thursday 13 September 2012

Beatings during Bersih 3.0 are heinous acts, says senior cop

A senior Kuala Lumpur cop has described the actions of policemen who allegedly injured protesters and media personnel during Bersih 3.0 as “heinous” .

“If there are cops who acted in such a kurang ajar (despicable) manner, we must take action against them,” vowed Kuala Lumpur police CID intelligence and operations chief ACP Khairi Ahrasa.

In charge of 58 arrest teams drawn from KL police detectives deployed during Bersih 3.0, Khairi told the panel that at least 10 police personnel were facing charges for such offences.

NONEThe 36th witness to testify before the Human Rights Commission’s (Suhakam) public inquiry into alleged human rights abuses during the April 28 pro-electoral reform rally, Khairi was asked to specifically comment on two victims.

One is journalist Radzi Razak (above), who was beaten up by several police officers, and Bersih participant Hee Jenn Wei, who was dragged out of a hotel and beaten up while being arrested.

He said the media's duty to cover such events was a historical fact and police should not obstruct journalists from doing their job, let alone beat them up. Khairi said he had ordered the men under him to be aware of this.

The officer also said he believes that both the media and the police would benefit from better cooperation and coordination so that both sides could perform their duties better.

Not supposed to enter buildings to arrest

Khairi stressed that police officers that day were not supposed to arrest participants who did not commit any offence and certainly were not supposed to rush into buildings and snatch participants as they are technically considered as having dispersed from the streets.

NONEBoth Radzi and Hee had testified about their ordeals before the panel earlier.

A slew of police reports have been lodged by participants and media practitioners on the brutal acts of members of the police force during the April 28 rally.

Several investigation papers have been opened to investigate the allegations, though one investigating officer admitted to the panel yesterday that internals delays were stonewalling investigations.

The resulting public outcry is one of the reasons that the Suhakam inquiry into human rights violations during the rally was convened.

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