Friday 21 September 2012

'Cops yet to produce those accused of brutality'

  • Koh Jun Lin
  • 1:22PM Sep 21, 2012
The Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) said the police have yet to produce the actual officers accused of brutality during Bersih 3.0 to answer allegations against them.

Suhakam Commissioner Khaw Lake Tee who chairs the inquiry on violence at the Bersih 3.0 rally in Kuala Lumpur, was speaking during a press conference after a site visit to Dataran Merdeka today as part of the proceedings.

NONE"The police have always been cooperative,” said Khaw (right) when asked.

"The only thing is that we wanted them to bring us those actually involved in the allegations," she said.

When contacted, Khaw clarified that the police should produce the officers who had been accused, so that they could answer to the allegations in person.

To date the police have only sent commanding officers who were not directly implicated in brutality allegations, to answer at the inquiry.

The inquiry, which started on July 5, had heard the testimonies of many protesters alleging police brutality.

The inquiry was convened to investigate alleged human rights violations during the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28, following complaints from protesters and media practitioners that they were beaten by the police.

NONEKhaw, with two other commissioners - Mahmood Zuhdi A Majid and Detta Samen - were visiting Dataran Merdeka and surrounding areas today to get a better picture of what transpired at the places mentioned by the inquiry’s witnesses.

Contrary to one FRU commander’s testimony, Khaw said there were not many side-roads and alleys that protesters could use to disperse.

“We were looking to see where are the roads that they could have dispersed, and frankly we could only see two - one is the small lane leading to Citin Hotel, and the other one near Masjid India.
'There isn't much room to run'

“The rest were all much further down. If you look at Jalan Tun Perak itself, there isn’t much room to run besides those two areas,” she said.

Supt Zahari Mohd Yusoff, who was in charge of all FRU units policing the Bersih 3.0 rally, had previously denied that protesters were surrounded by saying that there are many possible escape routes around Jalan Tun Perak, Jalan Raja Laut, and Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman.   

Khaw said she is satisfied with the site visit, and hoped that the insights gained would lead to better questions in the inquiry, such as raising the issue of lack of escape routes.

The site visit started at about 9.30am, and the commissioners and their staff took over 90 minutes walking from Dataran Merdeka to places where alleged police brutality had occurred, such as the Masjid Jamek LRT station, Citin Hotel, and Swiss Hotel.

They were also led to the location where the barricades were breached and where the location where protesters were held outside the Royal Selangor Club before being transferred to the Police Training Centre (Pulapol) along Jalan Semarak to have their details recorded.

Also accompanying them were ASP Ahmad Jais Ujang, who was in charge of the Dataran Merdeka area during the rally, and two of his subordinates.

The inquiry panel would resume its public inquiry next Monday, while a visit to FRU’s base in Cheras is also being planned.

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