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Thread: BERSIH 3.0: SUHAKAM Hearing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    BERSIH 3.0: SUHAKAM Hearing

    Witness: I saw policeman holding up a gun

    Tarani Palani
    | July 5, 2012

    The traffic policeman was allegedly controlling the bike with one hand.

    KUALA LUMPUR: The role of the traffic police in controlling the crowd during the Bersih 3.0 rally has come under scrutiny again.

    This time, it was the role of one officer who was allegedly holding up a gun while approaching protesters along Jalan Raja Laut.

    Veteran army officer, Khairul Anuar Pawanchik, 60, said that he witnessed this when he was on duty during the rally on April 28.

    “Around 3pm to 4pm at Jalan Raja Laut, I saw about 15 to 20 traffic policemen who came riding on their bikes. The leader of the pack was holding up his gun to the sky while standing on his bike. He was controlling the bike with one hand.

    “I was afraid for his safety and the crowd if he fell down from the motorcycle and his weapon went off… the act is unjustifiable,” he said.

    He told this to the Suhakam public inquiry panel investigating human rights abuse during the rally.

    Khairul said that two of the officers in that group were ordinary policemen in blue uniform and that only one person was holding up the gun.

    “He was not brandishing his gun, he was merely holding it,” he said, adding that this was not a common practice to disperse the crowd and he had only witnessed it once in his career.

    Gun pointed at protesters

    He, however, did not stay long to witness what occurred next as he was part of the Red Crescent mobile convoy which was giving out drinking water to the crowd.

    This brings into question the role that traffic police played in controlling the crowd that day.

    In the aftermath of the rally, FMT received a video depicting a traffic policeman pointing his gun at unarmed protesters.
    In the short clip, it was unclear if the policeman was trying to prevent the protesters from “stealing” an abandoned motorcycle on the road.

    Although the rally on April 28 began with carnival-like atmosphere, events took an ugly turn when some protesters breached the barbed wire which cordoned off Dataran Merdeka. Both protesters and police blame each other for the violent turn of events.

    Suhakam set up an in inquiry on May 25 to look into instances of human rights violation during the rally.
    The panel had its first hearing today where three witnesses testified. Besides Khairul, Baharudin Hashim, 53, and R Kunabal, 58, also gave their testimony.

    Commissioners Mahmood Zuhdi Majid, Khaw Lake Tee and Detta Samen are heading this panel. The same panel conducted the inquiry into Bersih 2.0 rally on July 7 last year.

    So far the panel has 22 witnesses lined up. This number, however, does not include the witnesses from the police force.

    The next hearing will be on July 11.
    Also read:

    ‘War grade barbed wire used at Bersih rally’

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Cops stomped on injured girl during Bersih rally, Suhakam inquiry told

    UPDATED @ 09:16:18 PM 11-07-2012
    By Mohd Farhan Darwis
    July 11, 2012

    KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — A policeman stomped on the chest of an injured teenaged girl during the chaotic April 28 Bersih rally in the capital city, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) heard today, as more witnesses stepped forward to detail their harrowing encounters with the authorities.

    Businessman Kumar Suppiah, the third witness in today’s inquiry, told a three-man panel that he was seeking shelter at a bank near City Hall on Jalan Raja Laut after police had fired tear gas canisters into the crowd when he bumped into a teenaged girl, whose hand he suspected was broken.

    He related how he and some 10 other people had helped to wrap the girl’s hand in a towel before alerting several policemen nearby to get further medical treatment for the injured teen who was screaming in pain.

    One of the policemen had promised to call for an ambulance to take the girl to hospital, Kumar told the panel, but another police team that arrived on the scene suddenly started assaulting civilians, including the injured girl.

    “I saw him (the policeman) stomp on the girl’s chest. I was pushed into the glass panel in the ATM (automated teller machines) area. They then dragged me out and started beating us,” Kumar recounted.

    He added that the policemen also hurled expletives at them and did not stop until ordered to by another police officer.

    “Then I saw the ambulance come and take away the girl whose neck was bandaged,” Kumar said.
    Another witness, Arshad Abbas, a former Measat Broadcast Network Systems Sdn Bhd (Astro) customer service agent said a policeman attacked him verbally with the words “accursed being” when he asked the police the reason why they were so rough on the demonstrators.

    “I wanted to know [why] the police were using violence and a policeman in blue uniform called me an ‘accursed being’ and told me I was stopping him from doing his duties,” Arshad said.
    He also claimed he saw the same policeman who had shouted at him, pushing and pulling an elderly Chinese man dressed in a green T-shirt by the collar while trying to arrest him.
    “I saw the same cop abusing the Chinese man who may have been an innocent bystander,” he said.

    Arshad also alleged that the police brutality continued when he was also beaten by the police and accused of being Pakatan Rakyat leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s pimp.

    “A policeman accused me of being Anwar’s pimp. I was also called an idiot and that I caused too many problems for the policemen,” he said.

    The inquiry is aimed at determining whether any violations of human rights were committed against any person or party during and after the gathering.

    The inquiry panel led by Suhakam vice-chairman Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee and aided by commissioners Professor Datuk Dr Mahmood Zuhdi Abdul Majid and Detta Samen will be interviewing some 22 witnesses over a period of 22 days.

    To date, six witnesses have testified before observers from the Malaysian Bar, police and several other independent monitors.
    The inquiry continues on July 16.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    DBKL men also assaulted people during Bersih 3.0, Suhakam told

    Posted on 11 July 2012 - 09:37pm
    Last updated on 11 July 2012 - 09:54pm
    Karen Arukesamy

    KUALA LUMPUR (July 11, 2012): Some City Hall (DBKL) officers had assaulted the public during the April 28 Bersih 3.0 rally, the Human Rights Commission’s (Suhakam) public inquiry was told.

    “I am sure one of them who hit me was a DBKL officer. I recognise them from their uniform,” Kumar Suppiah, 45, a businessman who testified before the Suhakam panel today.

    He said he was assaulted by the police and also “DBKL officers” who were in the group at an ATM room at the DBKL headquarters during the rally.

    “Several people had taken shelter at the ATM after tear gas was fired to disperse the crowd.

    “Everyone was helping each other at that time and I saw a young woman screaming in pain. A few people carried her to the ATM at the DBKL building nearby,” Kumar said.

    Recalling the incident, he said initially two groups of five to six policemen had come to order them to disperse from there when he had asked them to call an ambulance for the injured woman.
    “This was about 2.40pm.

    “There were a few more people in the ATM room. Some of them were also injured. We were there for about 10-15 minutes,” Kumar said.

    He said a third group of 10-15 officers, including DBKL officers, barged into the ATM room and started assaulting the people.

    “I was still with the woman and they slammed me against the wall and started hitting me.

    “They stamped on her thigh, and I said ‘no, don’t hit her, she is badly injured, don’t harm her anymore’, and they started stamping me on my back and slammed me against the glass,” Kumar said, adding that he was then dragged out of the ATM by the back of his collar.

    He said police had also used a racially derogatory word (p*** mak keling) before ordering him to sit at a spot with other detainees.

    Kumar, who was the third witness, had also brought the yellow T-shirt he wore that day to show the panel the boot prints on the back of the T-shirt.

    He said he knew the rally was not illegal as there were news reports of Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein stating that it was not a threat. “Unlike the previous Bersih 2.0, there was no indication this rally was unlawful,” he said.

    He said when the police took all the detainees to near the Royal Selangor Club before taking them to the Jalan Semarak Police Training Centre (Pulapol), he also saw a woman being manhandled by male police personnel.

    “A young Chinese girl had asked one of the officers, ‘what is my offence, if you are not going to tell me what is my offence, I am walking away’, and she did that when the officers ignored her.

    “That was when the police ran and grabbed her by her hair and dragged her back to sit with the other detainees,” he said.

    The Suhakam panel also heard the testimony of Chong Min Shih, 37, who is scarred for life after she was hit by a tear gas canister on the right side of her neck, and Arshad Abbas, 32, who claimed to have been assaulted by the police.

    Panel chairman Prof Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee told a press conference later the police had given the names of 20 other police officers to testify, bringing the total to 84.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2008
    'Youths provoked cops to attack Bersih protesters'

    • S Pathmawathy

    • 12:20PM Jul 25, 2012

    Three or four youths dressed in casual clothing tried to ‘provoke’ the police into acting against Bersih 3.0 rally participants on April 28, the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) public inquiry panel was told today.

    Tourist guide Karam Singh, the 14th witness to testify, said the group was "toying" with the police who had formed a human barricade along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman in Kuala Lumpur.

    "They were trying to provoke the police but didn't look like participants," he told the three-member panel probing into human rights violations during the rally.

    Karam, 50, said he was in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman that evening.

    He said his suspicions were raised because the youths stood out among the sea of yellow-clad Bersih supporters.

    "They were communicating among themselves, using hand signals and gestures,” he said.

    When Suhakam commissioner Detta Samen(left) asked if the youths could be agent provocateurs, Karam Singh agreed.

    He said another group of young men on motorcycles were taking "instructions" from "these ring leaders".

    As rounds of tear gas were fired to disperse the crowd, the youths ran to the roadside and "picked up discarded water bottles and stones" and threw these at the police, he said.

    "The police chased them but I didn't see anyone being arrested. But we were caught in the middle and people around me were arrested instead," he said.

    ‘No more confidence in police’

    Karam said he evaded arrest and found his way out of the crowd. He walked towards Jalan Tun Perak, where he and a friend went into a fast food outlet for a drink.

    "The outlet staff locked the glass door after everyone who walked in. We sat down after getting a drink. Suddenly a group of police officers - in blue uniforms and in plain clothes - banged on the door demanding that the staff open it.

    "I was fearful for my safety after what I saw earlier and requested the staff, 'Tolong jangan buka pintu' (please don't open the door).

    "But the police brandished their authority cards and demanded that the door be opened.

    "They then barged in and started beating up people. I was punched in the face and my friend and I were told to remove our yellow T-shirts.”

    One police personnel shouted:"Sial! Lu orang punya pasal, anggota kita seorang mati!"(Damn you! Because of all of you, one of our personnel is dead!).

    Karam Singh said he did not lodge a police report as he has lost confidence in the police force.

    "If they can barge into the premises just like that, they can barge into my house and arrest me. I was embarrassed but no major harm was done, so I decided not to (lodge a complaint)," he said.

    Later, he had to walk shirt-less to Pudu Sentral to take the LRT at Plaza Rakyat.

    The panel is led by Suhakam vice-chairperson Khaw Lake Tee, who is assisted by commissioners Detta and Mahmood Zuhdi A Majid.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Direct tear gas fire caused injuries, says cop

    • Hazlan Zakaria

    • 2:02PM Aug 9, 2012

    A Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) unit commander has admitted that the serious injuries suffered by several Bersih 3.0 protesters were most likely caused by tear gas cannisters fired direct and horizontally at them.

    "If fired in an arc, they would fall slowly and bounce off, and not cause serious injury," ASP Alekzandra Dawam told the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry into violence during the April 28 rally in Kuala Lumpur today.

    Alekzandra also said the projectile, even though hot after it is fired and if fired in an arc, will not be in contact with a person long enough to cause serious burns as it will bounce off.

    He agreed with a suggestion from the inquiry panel that injuries such as serious scalding and bruising to the arm and a direct hit to the eyes suffered by at least one protester must have been caused by a direct shot.

    The unit commander said that while his FRU troop was in action, all their tear gas was fired in an arc and there was no incident of cannisters hitting protesters and causing serious injury.

    But he does not know if such cases happened during the time that other units were on duty.

    He described that other than the FRU, over 2,000 general duty police were on duty during Bersih 3.0, reinforced by DBKL enforcement officers and he believes some Rela members.

    Alekzandra was asked his opinion about the incidents where several protesters at the pro-electoral reform rally on July 28 last year said they were seriously scalded and injured when hit by tear gas cannisters.

    ‘Women and children fair game’

    Responding to a query, he also said that while the police Public Order Manual and commandant’s orders prohibit the use of baton charges against women and children, no such distinction was made in the use of tear gas and water cannon.

    “Those before us are termed as protesters, that is how we respond,” he said in relation to police guidelines on tear gas and water cannon deployment.

    However, he added that he is duty bound to use his best efforts to ensure that no harm came to his men or protesters.

    Cross-examined by the police counsel at the inquiry, ACP Jamaluddin Abdul Rahman, Alekzandra also agreed that injuries suffered by protesters can also be caused by being hit by other thrown objects or self-inflicted when protesters tripped and fell down.

    He also related that that other than being hurled insults, police were also pelted by projectiles such as debris, rubbish, broken bricks, stones, water bottles and ball bearings on that day.

    He commands the FRU Troop 4B based in Cheras, which was deployed for crowd control during the Bersih 3.0 rally.

    Troop 4B, comprising two officers and 69, men saw action at Detaran Merdeka, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Tun Perak during the rally.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Invoking the spectre of the foreign bogeyman. Won't work anymore. Are they aware that they are creating a drive for the disbanding of the Police?

    'More cops injured proportionately at Bersih 3.0'

    • 10:27AM Jan 11, 2013

    A disproportionate number of police personnel suffered injuries during the Bersih 3.0 rally, the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) public inquiry on human rights violations during the event was told yesterday.

    According to ACP Jamaluddin Abdul Rahman's (right) submission, 24 protesters were hurt during the rally and if there was just 50,000 participants, it would mean 0.0048 percent were injured.

    On the other hand, he said 12 out of 3,000 police personnel at the scene were injured, or 0.4 percent of those deployed, suffered injuries.

    Jamaluddin, who is holding a watching brief for the police, said this during the public inquiry which is now in its final stages. The inquiry began on July 5.

    ‘Bersih was arrogant'

    His submission also saw him blaming rally organisers - the Bersih steering committee - for the violence that took place that day by, alleging that they had ordered rally participants to ignore police orders.

    "The cause of the incidents was the arrogance of the organiser, by asking the protester not to take orders from others except PAS' Unit Amal and its field commanders," he said.

    Jamaluddin also claimed that the rally was backed by foreign powers bent on jeopardising the country's security and making the police scape goats.

    He said that Bersih had proceeded with the rally despite the Election Commission (EC) having fulfilled the coalition's eight demands, which is disputed by the former.

    To back his claims, Jamaluddin alleged that Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan had admitted that the coalition had received foreign funding from sources which had helped fund regime change in other countries.

    Jamaluddin also denied that the police had fired an ‘excessive' number of tear gas canisters compared with the July 9, 2012 Bersih 2.0 rally.

    Bar Council slammed

    Meanwhile, Jamaluddin also took the opportunity to hit back at one of the police force's frequent critics - the Bar Council - accusing the body of being undemocratic.

    He said that the council's election involved only 12 positions while another 24 positions were through appointments.

    He said the system was unreasonable, unfair and "dirty" compared with the EC system.

    Despite two inquiry panel members - Detta Samen and Mahmod Zuhdi A Majid - requesting retraction of the submissions touching on the Bar Counci, Jamaluddin refused.

    He said that there are flaws within the Bar Council's electoral system and yet it had thrown its support behind Bersih - an electoral reforms pressure group.

    "I want to point out that it is akin to a crab teaching its children to walk straight. If the crab has proper eyesight, there would be no problem. But (in this case), I'm afraid that it is blind," he said.

    Speaking to reporters later, public inquiry head Khaw Lake Tee (right) said the report should be ready by mid-February and the panel hopes to meet inspector-general of police Ismail Omar to hand over Suhakam's suggestions to him.

    The hearing saw 49 witnesses testifying, including eight police personnel, four journalists and eight expert witnesses.

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