SUHAKAM: PUBLIC INQUIRY ON VIOLENCE AT BERSIH 3.0

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SUHAKAM

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Malay: Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Malaysia) better known locally as SUHAKAM is the national human rights institution (NHRI) of Malaysia. It was established by the Malaysian Parliament under the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999, Act 597, and began its work in April 2000. Its mandate is to promote human rights education, advise on legislation and policy, and conduct investigations. For the period 20010-2013 the commission is headed by Tan Sri Hasmy Agam, a former diplomat.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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THE SUHAKAM INQUIRY HAS RESUMED

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The hour-long clip has been marked for later identification and will only be considered as evidence if a witness can attest to its authenticity.

The police logo is shown at the beginning and the end of the recording, which is a compilation of  short clips of key events before and during the rally. It begins with the ‘Occupy Dataran’ protest by students two weeks earlier.

Malaysiakini

Police video’ shown at Suhakam’s Bersih inquiry
  • Koh Jun Lin
  • 11:01AM Sep 25, 2012

A purported police video of the Bersih 3.0 rally was screened during the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) public inquiry yesterday, but an officer called as a witness could not verify its authenticity.
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Bersih observer Daniel Albert, who was at the inquiry, said the video was heavily edited.

“It is quite clear that, given the testimony of victims who have come before the panel, there had been numerous instances of police brutality,” he explained to the panel.

“(But) there are hardly any instances of police brutality depicted (in the video). It is quite clear that the content heavily favours the police.”

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‘Police video’ shown at Suhakam’s Bersih inquiry

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Malaysian Insider

Bersih protesters had no chance to disperse, says Suhakam panel chief

UPDATED @ 08:30:13 PM 21-09-2012
By Hafidz Baharom
September 21, 2012

Khaw (with raised blue file) and other members of the Suhakam panel visit Dataran Merdeka on September 21, 2012. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — The Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) panel chief today said that “there was not much room to run” for protesters during the Bersih rally on April 28, disputing earlier police testimony of having enough roads open for participants to disperse.

Prof Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee told reporters after the panel made an on-site visit that the exits assigned by the police to allow people to disperse were further away, leaving only two narrow lanes nearby.

“Police said there were a lot of areas where protesters could have dispersed and we were looking for that.

“We only saw two; small lane near Citin Hotel and Masjid India Jalan Tun Perak. There was not much room to run,” Khaw said.

Bersih protesters had no chance to disperse, says Suhakam panel chief

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

Malaysiakini

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.

“The police have always been cooperative,” said Khaw (right) when asked.

Cops yet to produce those accused of brutality’

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Malaysiakini

Beatings during Bersih 3.0 are heinous acts, says senior cop
  • Hazlan Zakaria
  • 1:14PM Sep 13, 2012

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.

The 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…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.
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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 t

Beatings during Bersih 3.0 are heinous acts, says senior cop

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The 15th day of the inquiry into alleged human rights abuses during and after the April 28 pro-electoral reform rally.

Malaysiakini

Cop unaware of constitutional right to assembly
  • Hazlan Zakaria
  • 2:27PM Sep 10, 2012

A police officer in charge of a duty sector during the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 24 told the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry today he is not aware that freedom of assembly is guaranteed by the federal constitution.

“I don’t know,” said Inspector Farid Sairi when asked about the matter by lawyer Roger Chan, who was holding a watching brief for the Bar Council, on the 15th day of the inquiry into alleged human rights abuses during and after the April 28 pro-electoral reform rally.

Cop unaware of constitutional right to assembly

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First round of tear gas ‘can serve as warning’
  • Hazlan Zakaria
  • 2:38PM Sep 10, 2012
In certain circumstances, the first volley of tear gas can serve as a warning to protestors, in place of the more common verbal warning, said a police inspector.”It can be used as a warning. At least, in the situation I was in,” Shahrizal Dul Manap told the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry panel into alleged human rights abuses during and after the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28.He was responding to a question from Jamaluddin Mohamed, who is representing the police at the public inquiry, which is into its 15th day.However Shahrizal, the 32nd witness to be called, clarified that this is not common practice and only applies in certain situations.

First round of tear gas ‘can serve as warning’

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Malaysian Insider

Ambiga: Explain conflicting orders during Bersih rally

By Ida Lim
August 16, 2012

Ambiga noted that police initially treated demonstrators with kid gloves, before unleashing a barrage of tear gas canisters. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 — The Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) should compel the Inspector-General of Police and the home minister to explain why two seemingly disparate sets of orders were given to police and which led to the chaotic break-up of the April 28 protest for free and fair elections,  Bersih co-chairwoman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said today.

“It appears there were two sets of orders given to the police,” said Ambiga, adding that initial orders given were to treat participants “with care”.

“There was a second set of orders, it appears, which was the firing of tear-gas. It unleashed fear on participants of the rally. We can’t understand how that happened.”

Ambiga was speaking to reporters when presenting Bersih’s memorandum and report to the Suhakam panel chaired by the commission’s vice-chairman, Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee, that is investigating accusations of police brutality at the rally.

Ambiga said Bersih wanted to know who gave the orders to the police and what orders were given.

She stressed that the Suhakam panel should call the IGP and the home minister as witnesses to get a “complete picture”.

“I’m sure they would be prepared to come,” said the prominent lawyer-activist.

She noted that the Suhakam panel has powers to compel witnesses to testify.

Ambiga: Explain conflicting orders during Bersih rally

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Malaysiakini

Believe it or not: No police name-tags
9:58AM Aug 14, 2012

YOURSAY ‘If one is lost, it’s an accident. If two, it’s a coincidence. If three, it’s a trend. If it’s four or more, it has to be due to a directive.’

Officer doesn’t know how cops’ name-tags came off

your sayAB Sulaiman: Here’s my 10 sen’s worth of comment on the police name tag loss.

If one is lost, it’s an accident. If two, it’s a coincidence. If three, it’s a trend. If it’s four or more, then it has to be due to a directive or order from a higher and superior authority – or a God-sent miracle.

Ferdtan: ASP Ahmad Jais, do you know why the officers’ name tags came off? It was obviously taken off before doing something illegal for which they were afraid of being identified.

Since many of them had taken off their name tags, it must have been done through an instruction from a superior.

Suhakam panel chief Khaw Lake Tee pointed out that even for those who had their name tags on during the Bersih 3.0 protest, it was still difficult to identify the police officers. This was an uncalled-for and wrong observation that lessens the gravity of police officers not wearing their name tags.

Yes, it may be true that it would be difficult to identify the officers but that is besides the point. The point is that without the name tags on, the officers had no fear of been caught red-handed doing what they were not supposed to do – breaking the law with impunity by running riot with their acts of violence.

These senior officers only testified what their fellow officers should have done, but not what they actually did. We need some tough questioning here.

Believe it or not: No police name-tags

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Malaysian Insider

Cops swarmed hotel and kicked protesters, Bersih inquiry told

By Thanusya Shanmuganathan

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 15 — Up to 20 plainclothes officers barged into Swiss Hotel here on April 28 to arrest people, including women and children, taking refuge there after tear gas was fired, the Human … Read More

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Malaysian Insider

No cop hurt during Bersih rally, Suhakam inquiry told

UPDATED @ 04:55:14 PM 13-08-2012
By Thanusya Shanmuganathan
August 13, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — No policeman was injured in the chaotic April 28 rally for free elections here, contrary to reports that officers were wounded by demonstrators and which were allegedly used to encourage reprisals by the force, the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry heard today.

Insp Norazmee Mohamed, from the Dang Wangi police station here, said he was not aware of any police officer being injured in clashes that had sprouted in several spots leading to Dataran Merdeka and the venue of the rally organised by electoral reform group Bersih.

“I was not informed of any injuries sustained by my officers,” he told a three-man panel led by Suhakam vice-chairman Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee.

“If indeed an officer was injured, it is the standard operating procedure (SOP) to inform me but I did not receive any information,” he said.

Norazmee was the second person called to testify today, after another police officer, ASP Ahamad Jais Ujang.

Norazmee said he had been briefed earlier in the day on April 28 by Ahamad, who was his superior, and told to form a human barricade around Dataran Merdeka.

“I was there to monitor 300 officers under my control. We received orders to form a human barricade outside Dataran Merdeka.

“We were told to stand and guard the barricade,” he said.

Norazmee told the panel the crowd began dismantling the barbed wire barricade at 1pm, forcing policemen to retreat and take cover behind a Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) truck.

“The crowd marched in and threw stones and bottles at us. They also uttered profanities.

“I ordered my men to retreat, fearing for their safety,” he added.

The inspector said he did not make any arrests that day.

When questioned by Bar Council lawyers, he said the situation at Dataran Merdeka would have been more chaotic if the FRU did not fire tear gas.

“That was the only thing we had to make the crowd disperse,” he said.

Ahamad, who was in charge of keeping demonstrators from entering the blocked-off Dataran Merdeka, testified earlier that he had been informed that two officers had been injured by demonstrators.

“My OCPD told me in a briefing that a PEMANDU officer and a traffic policeman were also injured when the police made arrests during the rally,” said Ahamad.

He did not disclose the identities of the injured or offer further information on the PEMANDU official, but was likely referring to a representative from the government’s Performance and Delivery Unit, the efficiency agency under the Prime Minister’s Department.

Ahamad, who heads the police’s religious and counselling unit, said he was only informed of the incident from his superior officer after he went back to the Police Training Centre (Pulapol) in Jalan Semarak.

Ahamad also told the inquiry that he directed the policemen under his charge against being violent or reacting emotionally towards the crowd and to stay calm, even if they were provoked.

“My orders were clear. I told all my 1,000 officers not to react in any unruly manner.

“I also told them not to make any arrests, if possible,” he said.

Despite his orders, Ahamad said a few officers had arrested several people after the crowd broke through a barbed-wire barricade and entered Dataran Merdeka. He noted that the time then was about 3pm.

“I saw an officer arresting a man wearing a yellow T-shirt. I asked him who gave him orders to make arrests but my officer kept mum,” he said.

“The arrests may have happened when my officers felt things were getting out of control and felt they should make arrests,” he said.

He added that he then took those detained to Pulapol for further action.

Ahamad said he saw many of the detainees were injured and bleeding.

“My officers should not have used violence on the crowd. They were ordered to use minimal violence to control them,” he said

Main – Malaysia – No cop hurt during Bersih rally, Suhakam inquiry

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Press Statement, 30 July 2012

Suhakam inquiry into Bersih 3.0: Weekly Summary (23 – 26 July)

The ongoing Suhakam public inquiry into the allegations of human rights violations before, during and after the Bersih 3.0 peaceful assembly on 28 April was initiated on 5 July. A total of 17 witnesses have testified so far and last week (23 to 26 July), the panel heard the testimonies of 9 witnesses.

BERSIH 2.0 wishes to present a summary of the key testimonies of the brave citizens who stepped forward as witnesses. The following are some of the main violations recorded so far:

POLICE BRUTALITY

Seven out of the nine witnesses testified that they were assaulted by police officers and all nine saw other people being assaulted. One witness said that police even demanded entry into the A&W restaurant, which had been locked, and proceeded to assault and arrest those who were inside.

POLICE MISCONDUCT

Aside from assaults, police were also seen behaving in highly irregular and unprofessional ways. One witness told the panel that racial slurs were hurled at him by police officers while assaulting him. His gold chain was also “taken” by the police and has still not been returned or acknowledged even though he lodged a police report. Another witness saw a police car speeding through a crowded area with no consideration of the crowd, some of whom were sitting down. Yet another witness reported that the policemen who hit him were in uniform with names but no ID numbers.

INDISCRIMINATE USE OF TEAR GAS

Instead of firing from a safe distance, some police and FRU fired tear gas directly at the crowd in a way that boxed in participants rather than allowing them to disperse. One witness is now left clinically blind due to being hit at close range by a tear gas canister. He is a fresh graduate who has lost his first job due to his condition. Other witnesses testified to the widespread use of teargas in narrow, congested areas from which the crowd had no escape. Earlier in the inquiry, a witness told the panel she was hit by a tear gas canister on her neck, causing her to lose consciousness.

INSUFFICIENT TIME TO DISPERSE

Two witnesses spoke of how they wanted to return home at 4pm but could not as the LRT station was closed. This caused confusion and forced them to sit around amidst the heavy use of tear gas and water cannons, which is when they were assaulted by policemen.

ASSAULTS ON MEDIA PERSONNEL

Three reporters testified that their press tags were ignored by the police who either snatched their cameras, ordered them to stop documenting or even assaulted them. One reporter was also made to pass through the gauntlet (two parallel rows of police lines) where he was punched in his midsection. Police also refused to return his memory card.

Another media personnel was warned by police to not take any pictures and said that a policeman tried to get her camera and kicked her press tag to the side in order to arrest her without her tag. She was further warned by a policeman, “If I see you again, I will arrest you,” when she asked him for directions.

The third reporter told the panel that he was sitting on a sidewalk where he could see the OCPD of Dang Wangi talking to a group of police using a hailer, but he could not hear what they said. However, the group then dispersed and began attacking random protestors.Suddenly, seven or eight police came over and assaulted him even after he shouted “Press! Press!”

INCONSISTENT POLICE BEHAVIOR

Despite the thousands who were allowed to wear yellow shirts, one witness said he was asked to take off his yellow t-shirt and had to go home without a T-shirt.

The inquiry has so far depicted numerous accounts of human rights violations inflicted upon the participants of the Bersih 3.0 “duduk bantah”. The inquiry continues this week, with hearings on 1 and 2 August. With more witnesses to be called, including from among the police, BERSIH 2.0 hopes that the truth will be revealed of what happened on 28 April when 250,000 Malaysians came forward to peacefully demand for clean and fair elections.

Thank you.

Salam BERSIH!

Steering Committee

Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections 2.0 (BERSIH 2.0)

The Steering Committee of BERSIH 2.0 comprises:

Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan (Co-Chairperson), Datuk A. Samad Said (Co-Chairperson), Ahmad Shukri Abdul Razab, Andrew Ambrose, Andrew Khoo, Anne Lasimbang, Arul Prakkash, Arumugam K., Awang Abdillah, Dr Farouk Musa, Hishamuddin Rais, Liau Kok Fah, Maria Chin Abdullah, Matthew Vincent, Niloh Ason, Richard Y W Yeoh, Dr Subramaniam Pillay, Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon, Dr Wong Chin Huat, Dato’ Yeo Yang Poh and Zaid Kamaruddin.

Suhakam inquiry into Bersih 3.0: Weekly Summary (23 – 26 July
BERSIH 2.0 wishes to present a summary of the key testimonies of the brave She was further warned by a policeman, “If I see you again, I will arrest you,”
www.bersih.org/?p=5333

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Malaysiakini

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Sundaily

Wrong to confiscate cameras from press, cop admits

Posted on 9 August 2012 – 07:20pm

Alyaa Alhadjri
newsdesk@thesundaily.com

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 9, 2012): A police officer who headed an arrest team during the Bersih 3.0 rally admitted that it was wrong for policemen to confiscate cameras belonging to media personnels on duty that day.

ASP Ong Seng Keong from the Cheras Police Contingent headquarters told the National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) Inquiry panel into the rally that there were two briefing sessions held for cops on duty, a day prior to the rally.

However no specific guidelines were given on how to deal with media personnel.

“We were only given orders to monitor the situation and to only take the ‘softest’ action in accordance with provisions under the law,” Ong told the hearing today.

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Earlier, Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) commander ASP Alekzandra Dawam told the inquiry that he had acted according to procedure by issuing three warnings for protesters to disperse, before the first water cannon shot was fired at about 3pm, just after a barbed wire barricade was breached by the protesters.

Alekzandra who heads Troop 4B, which comprises of two officers and 69 men, told the National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry into the rally that his repeated orders for protesters to disperse, or risk being dispersed by force, went unheeded.

He said the first round of water cannon was filled with plain water meant only to prevent protesters from surging forward.

“The moment protesters broke the barricade, I no longer saw anything that went on around me. I only focused on my troops and the crowd in front of us,” said Alekzandra who noted that the distance between the FRU personnel and protesters were less than 100 metres.

He however admitted that no further warnings were issued for subsequent shots of chemical-laced water or tear gas.

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Wrong to confiscate cameras from press, cop admits

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Sundaily

Cops riled up over death of colleague, inquiry told

Posted on 2 August 2012 – 07:27pm
Last updated on 2 August 2012 – 08:25pm

Song Sook Kin
newsdesk@thesundaily.com

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 2, 2012): A group of policemen who barged into the Cahaya Suria A&W outlet during Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28 blamed a group of protesters for the death of their colleague, and forced those wearing yellow t-shirts to remove them, the National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry panel heard today.

The outlet’s former manager, Zaidatul Akmar Zainon, said one of the customers was a Sikh who had told her not to open the door for the group of uniformed and plain-clothes policemen.

Zaidatul Akmar said she had earlier locked the door as there was a large group of customers streaming in.

“The place was almost full. And since it was the day of the rally, I was a bit afraid of letting too many people into the outlet,” she said, adding that soon after a group of policemen came and banged on the outlet’s door, demanding to be let in.

As soon as they stepped in at about 7pm, Zaidatul Akmar said she heard one of them shouting (in Malay): “Because of all of you, one of our officers is dead!”

She also heard exchanges between the customers and the policemen.

Cops riled up over death of colleague, inquiry told

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Malaysiakini

The Star pixman: Cops made me delete Bersih 3.0 photos
  • Hazlan Zakaria
  • 1:52PM Aug 1, 2012

A photographer for a mainstream English newspaper said that he feared for his safety when a group of police surrounded him and forced him to delete pictures of officers beating Bersih protesters stored on his memory card.

“When a few of them surrounded me, bad things might happen. I was scared…

“They asked for my camera, I did not give it to them. They asked for my memory card, I did not give it to them.

“I saw then beat up protesters, I was scared they might harm me,” said The Star photographer P Puspanathan while testifying to the Suhakam inquiry on alleged human rights abuses at the Bersih 3.0 pro-electoral reform rally today.

The Star pixman: Cops made me delete Bersih 3.0 photos

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Malaysian Insider

Cops kicked, dragged demonstrator from hotel, Bersih inquiry told

By Hafidz Baharom
August 01, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 1 ― A policeman dragged accounts executive Hee Jenn Wei out of Citin Hotel on Jalan Melayu here on April 28 and forced him to run to Dataran Merdeka, the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry into the Bersih rally heard today.

Hee, 25, from Kuantan, also alleged that he was kicked at by other policemen as he ran towards Dataran Merdeka where other protestors were also temporarily detained after the rally.

“At around 2.30 to 3 pm, participants in the rally started shouting ‘Go home, go home’ and I started to head back to the hotel,” he said today.

Hee, who wore a yellow Bersih T-shirt on the day, said he was resting at the hotel cafeteria with a friend before being singled out by a policeman who entered the promises.

“A policeman in uniform with a badge and no name tag pointed at me and shouted ‘You follow me’,” he said.

He said that the policeman had held on to his shoulder, led him out of the hotel where another officer allegedly struck him on the back of the neck.

“I was then forced to run to Dataran Merdeka with the officer holding on to my shoulder, while officers along the route kicked at my legs,” he added.

Cops kicked, dragged demonstrator from hotel, Bersih inquiry told

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Malaysiakini

Teacher at Bersih rally ‘beaten up, kicked by cops’
  • S Pathmawathy
  • 2:39PM Jul 30, 2012

Police personnel barged into a hotel in Kuala Lumpur to arrest those who had taken part in the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28, allegedly assaulting a teacher who was trying to surrender.

Goh Ban Huat, 48, who teaches at the Chong Hwa Independent High School, told the public inquiry being conducted by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) that he went to the rally with 12 friends.

He was at Dataran Merdeka about 3pm when the riot squad launched tear gas at the “thousands” gathered there.

“About three to four tear gas canisters landed where we were standing. The crowd was pushing and shoving, trying to get out. It was really crammed, but everyone was forced to retreat.

He and his friends took refuge in the Swiss Inn Hotel in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

“We saw people running into the hotel and we followed. The hotel staff refused to let us in but we managed to push through,” he told the three-member panel headed by Suhakam vice-chairperson Khaw Lake Tee.

“I was in the lobby when the police came. They kicked the door open, barged in without authorisation and went after everyone. I saw them going into the toilets and dragging people out by the collar.”

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Goh said he walked out of the hotel trusting that he would not be assaulted, unlike those who resisted.

“But I was wrong. When I went out, they beat me up and kicked me, right near the ribs, before they arrested and took me to the (Royal Selangor) club at Dataran Merdeka.”

Teacher at Bersih rally ‘beaten up, kicked by cops’

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THE ASST MANAGER SAW NOTHING AS HE WAS HIDING BEHIND THE COUNTER!

A&W staff: No commotion at outlet during Bersih rally
  • S Pathmawathy
  • 3:39PM Jul 30, 2012

The assistant manager of a fast-food outlet near Dataran Merdeka was unable to corroborate the claims of a Bersih 3.0 participant, who had described a commotion on the premises during the rally in Kuala Lumpur on April 28.

Nasir Abdul Ghani told the public inquiry panel at the Humans Rights Commission of Malaysia that he was on duty at the A&W outlet in Bangunan Cahaya Suria, Jalan Silang, on the day of the rally.

“I heard raised voices but I didn’t see any commotion when the police came inside the restaurant,” said Nasir, recalling the situation about 7pm that day.

But he also said that he did not have a direct view of the room as he was ‘hiding’ behind the counter at the time.

A&W staff: No commotion at outlet during Bersih rally

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Malaysian Insider

Rally participants not to blame for chaos, says Suhakam commissioner

By Ida Lim
July 28, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 — Those who take part in public rallies may not be entirely blamed for disruption of public order, a Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commissioner said today.

Prof Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee, who is also Suhakam vice-chairman, said over-precautions taken in the run-up to peaceful assemblies could also be a cause.

“Do you need to cordon off certain areas? Was it necessary?” she asked at a forum on public assembly laws at the Bar Council here.

Khaw….was responding to questions on fears that public assemblies may disrupt the lives of other citizens.

Khaw also chairs an ongoing inquiry into abuse of power and violation of human rights during the April 28 Bersih rally in the federal capital.

The rally was held months after the Peaceful Assembly Act was passed by the federal government.

Earlier in her presentation at the forum, she said: “There’s no such thing as an unlawful peaceful assembly.”

Rally participants not to blame for chaos, says Suhakam commissioner

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Media access restricted during Bersih 3.0
The Sun Daily
KUALA LUMPUR (July 26, 2012): Police appeared to have breached a provision under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 (PAA) which regulates media access during public gatherings, Suhakam’s inquiry on the Bersih 3.0 rally heard today. Online news portal
See all stories on this topic »
theSun journalist shouted he was from the press
The Sun Daily
moved towards pockets of protesters and started to assault them. He also told Jamaluddin he did not see police making any arrest, but were merely beating protesters who wore the Bersih t-shirt. “There was a Chinese uncle sitting about three feet

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Malaysian Insider

Journalist says ordered by cops to stop taking pictures of Bersih chaos

By Thanusya Shanmuganathan
July 26, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 — A journalist today told the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry into the April 28 Bersih rally that policemen arrested him and confiscated his belongings while he was on duty to cover the rally.

Koh Jun Lin, 25 a reporter and photographer with news portal Malaysiakini, claimed he was arrested by policemen outside the Kuala Lumpur City Hall building.

The arrest happened after two policemen ordered him to stop taking pictures of a clash between the police and protestors.

“The officers tugged at my press tag hanging on my neck. I took it off for them to see but they confiscated it along with my camera.

“They grabbed me by my backpack and took me to Royal Selangor Club along with 200 other detainees, one of them another fellow journalist.

“Upon reaching the club, I felt a sharp jab in the mid-section of my body. I believe I was punched by a policeman,” Koh said.

Journalist says ordered by cops to stop taking pictures of Bersih chaos

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Sundaily

Male participants return home shirtless

KUALA LUMPUR (July 25, 2012): Several male Bersih 3.0 participants were made to return home shirtless after police forcefully removed their T-shirts, a witness told the Human…

Police ‘manhandled’ female journo, Suhakam inquiry told

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Malaysiakini

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.

NONEWhen 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.

‘Youths provoked cops to attack Bersih protesters’

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Malaysian Insider

Cops attacked A&W patrons during Bersih chaos, Suhakam panel told

By Thanusya Shanmuganathan
July 25, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, July 25 ― Policemen stormed into an A&W fast-food outlet last April 28 and attacked Bersih supporters having their meals there, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) was told today.

Karam Singh Charan Singh, 50, a tourist guide, alleged that he and others were attacked by a group of policemen while having drinks at an A&W restaurant in Jalan Tun Perak after attending the rally.

“The policemen flashed their authority cards and ordered the restaurant staff to open the door. I told the staff not to do so but the staff ignored my pleas and let the police in.

“The policemen immediately charged towards my table and ordered my friend and I to remove our yellow T-shirts. One policeman tried to punch me but his punch only [grazed] me lightly,” Karam said.

He told the panel the policemen had verbally abused him and other customers in the restaurant for trying to defend them.

“Ninety per cent of customers in the restaurant were participants. A policeman shouted that we deserved to be treated like that, alleging that a police officer had been killed by some fellow demonstrators.

“The police called us pesky beings, hit another man and shouted at two young girls for just asking them to go away,” he said.

Karam later said he heard rumours that a policeman and two Bersih demonstrators had been killed that day.

He also told the panel and observers he did not make a police report about the assault in the restaurant.

Cops attacked A&W patrons during Bersih chaos, Suhakam panel told

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Who is the Chinese male police officer only known as “Koh”?

Malaysiakini

Panel asks cops to identify policeman known as ‘Koh’
  • S Pathmawathy
  • 11:50AM Jul 24, 2012

The Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) has instructed the police to identify a member of the force whose name has been cited twice in the public inquiry into violations during the Bersih 3.0 rally.

NONEThe commission’s vice-chairperson, Khaw Lake Tee (right), asked ACP Jamaluddin Abdul Rahman and DSP S Shanmugamoorthy, who are holding a watching brief for the police force, to “identify” a Chinese male officer only known as “Koh”.

This came after witness Leong Siew Meng said that the officer stood watch at the Royal Selangor Club when he was “dragged” past two facing rows of police personnel.

“I was kicked, punched and beaten up when I was dragged through the two rows,” testified Leong, the 11th witness today.

There he met “Koh”, who Leong said he spoke with in Mandarin and asked, “Why are they doing this?” referring to the way he was assaulted, but “Koh” stayed mum.

Khaw then said that the officer’s name had been mentioned twice in the course of the inquiry and insisted that the police locate the the person.

Panel asks cops to identify policeman known as ‘Koh’

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Malaysian Insider

Student’s eyesight damaged by tear gas canister, Suhakam panel told

By Thanusya Shanmuganathan

KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 — A mechanical engineering graduate has alleged that he sustained permanent damage to his eyesight after he was hit by a tear gas canister fired by riot police at Berish protestors on April 28, a Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry into violence at the Bersih rally for electoral reforms heard today.

Asrul Wadi Ahmad, 26, from Kepala Batas, said he was looking for his father outside the Majid Jamek mosque here after performing his prayers when the gas canister suddenly hit him, injuring his right eye.

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Malaysian Insider

Cops called Bersih protester ‘Chinese pig,’ Suhakam panel told

By Thanusya Shanmuganathan
July 24, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 — A tuition teacher has alleged that a policeman took his gold chain and assaulted him while he was subjected to racial slurs by other officers after he was arrested here on April 28, the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry into violence at the Bersih rally for electoral reforms heard today.

“The policeman tugged at my gold chain. I struggled as the chain cut at my neck but managed to unlock the chain eventually.

“I tried to put the chain in my pocket but the cop took it away and hit me for doing so. The more I fought, the harder I was hit,” said Leong Siew Meng, 34, a tuition teacher from Subang Jaya.

The alleged incident happened in front of the Royal Selangor Club here.

Leong also told the panel that policemen uttered racial slurs at him.

“The cop did not handcuff me. He called me an ‘arrogant being’ and ‘Chinese pig’ along the way to the club.”

He added that while he was being taken to the Jalan Semarak Police Training Centre (Pulapol), he heard other policemen singing the song “Inilah Barisan Kita”.

All the detainees were given food and water, and allowed to contact their loved ones using their mobile phones, he said.

Leong was released at midnight but his gold chain was not returned to him.

Cops called Bersih protester ‘Chinese pig,’ Suhakam panel told

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Malaysian Insider

Witness: Bersih crowd only attacked after tear gas was fired

UPDATED @ 12:49:06 PM 23-07-2012
By Thanusya Shanmuganathan
July 23, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 — The crowd at the Bersih rally on April 28 only threw things at the police after the authorities fired tear gas and water cannons at them first, a Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry was told today.

Hanif Ahmad Zanuddin, 36, a construction contractor from Seremban who took part in the rally for free and fair elections, was near the Masjid Jamek mosque during the incident. A witness at the inquiry, he added that the policemen threw back the shoes, stones, bottles and metal pieces at the crowd.

He added that he has been a PAS member for the past 14 years and had participated in the Bersih 1.0 and Bersih 2.0 rallies previously.

“I think the crowd attacked because they were angry at the policemen and Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) officers for firing tear gas and water cannons at them,” he said.

“The policemen also kicked and punched and detained me. I was confused as to whether I was detained or kidnapped as they did not tell me the reason for the arrest.

“I think that the police had beforehand received orders from someone to attack demonstrators during the rally to keep them out of Dataran Merdeka,” he said.

Witness: Bersih crowd only attacked after tear gas was fired

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Sundaily

Arrested protesters ‘slapped and kicked’

Posted on 18 July 2012 – 09:41pm
Last updated on 18 July 2012 – 09:54pm

Alyaa Alhadjri
newsdesk@thesundaily.com

KUALA LUMPUR (July 18, 2012): Policemen stationed in the vicinity of the Royal Selangor Club in Jalan Raja during the Bersih 3.0 rally were seen “slapping and kicking” protesters who had already been arrested.

Bersih independent advisory panel chairman Tun Hanif Omar said according to witnesses the assault was carried out while the detainees were being taken to a nearby holding point, before being brought to the police training centre (Pulapol) in Jalan Semarak.

Hanif and three other panel members today visited the club where four witnesses, including theSun editor (special and investigative reporting) R. Nadeswaran, showed the vantage point from where they had viewed the manhandling of protesters.

Nadeswaran, who had testified at the inquiry last month, was at the club at the request of the panel who wanted to know the exact locations from where he witnessed the assault.

His testimony was corroborated by three others – lawyer P S Gill, publisher and president of the Malaysian chapter of the International Advertisers’ Association Hamander Singh and human resources consultant G.S. Chahal.

Two of the witnesses, who showed images that they had captured on their mobile phones, also agreed to a request from Hanif that they make copies of the photographs and video footage for the panel.

Arrested protesters ‘slapped and kicked’

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Malaysia Chronicle

Monday, 16 July 2012 20:18

Muslims barred from praying, another detainee barred from using toilet – Bersih witness

Written by 

KUALA LUMPUR— The police denied Muslims detainees their right to pray after arresting them at Bersih 3.0, the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry on the April 28 rally was told today.

Suhaimi Suratman, the second witness in today’s hearing, said he and other fellow Muslims were denied permission to pray while being held by the police at the Royal Selangor Club.

According to him, a police officer shouted at the detainees to say, “If you want to pray, go to the mosque. This is not the mosque.”

Suhaimi also related another incident at the detention area where a PAS Unit Amal member in the movement’s signature maroon was beaten by two traffic policemen.

He added that a female medical officer was also prevented from using the toilet while she had been detained.

Suhaimi also asserted that police had verbally abused and provoked the detainees.

Muslims barred from praying, another detainee barred from using toilet

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Malaysian Insider

Witness: Cops threw bottles, stones at Bersih crowd

By Thanusya Shanmuganathan
July 16, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 — Several policemen threw bottles, stones and metal items at the crowd during the April 28 Bersih rally, a Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry was told today, as more witnesses stepped forward to detail their experience at the protest for clean and fair elections.

Adrian Loh, a software support worker from Petaling Jaya, told today’s inquiry he was taking refuge at the Masjid Jamek mosque when riot police fired tear gas and water cannons.

He testified that groups of 10 to 20 young policemen in blue uniform shouted at the dispersing crowd while throwing plastic bottles, stones and metal pieces at them.

“The policemen started throwing peculiar looking objects which looked like bottles, stones and metal pieces at the crowd. I have no idea where the metal pieces came from,” said Loh, who was the first witness to testify today, the third day of the inquiry.

He added that the policemen dared the crowd to fight them. The enraged crowd then threw back the bottles and stones at the policemen, he said.

Witness: Cops threw bottles, stones at Bersih crow

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Even DBKL officers assaulted us’

Tarani Palani | July 11, 2012

A witness tells a Suhakam panel that he was stomped on by enforcement officers as he was helping a girl who was badly injured on April 28.

KUALA LUMPUR: Even Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) authorities assaulted protesters during the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28, a Suhakam inquiry was told today.

Kumar Suppiah, 45, said that during the rally, he was roughed up by City Hall enforcement officers alongside with police personnel.

Testifying into human rights violation during the rally, Kumar said that he was stomped on by DBKL officers who assisted the police to clear the crowd near the DBKL HQ that day.

“Some of us took shelter in an ATM room at the DBKL building (after the water cannons were fired). There were about 12 of us and some were assisting a young girl in her 20s who we suspect broke her arm,” he said.

‘Even DBKL officers assaulted us’

—————-

Malaysiakini

Bersih 3.0 witness: Cops stamped on injured woman
  • S Pathmawathy
  • 4:42PM Jul 11, 2012

Police “stamped” on a young woman, who was “on the floor and screaming in pain” in the CIMB Bank outlet in the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) headquarters, in an incident during the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28.

She had already sustained injuries to her arm, said a witness at the Human Rights Commission’s (Suhakam) public inquiry today.

S Kumar, 45, who was attending to the woman, testified that he was holding her in an upright seated position as she was unable to breathe when she was placed on the floor.

According to him, the unidentified woman had fallen awkwardly outside the building and was carried into the bank’s automated teller machine (ATM) room.

Police stamped on injured woman: Bersih 3.0 witness

www.malaysiakini.com/news/203335 – Cached

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Free Malaysia Today

Witness: I saw policeman holding up a gun

Video by anonymous contributor
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.

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 …

www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2012/07/05… – C

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Free Malaysia Today

War grade barbed wire used at Bersih rally’

Tarani Palani | July 5, 2012

An army veteran tells Suhakam it is not the kind that should be used to keep the general public at bay.

UPDATED

KUALA LUMPUR: Some of the barbed wire used to cordon off Dataran Merdeka during the April 28 Bersih 3.0 rally is normally only used in instances of high conflict and not against the general public, according to an army veteran.

Khairul Anuar Pawanchik, who is retired from the armed forces, said the barbed wire, known as razor blade barbed concertina wire, should not have been used at Dataran Merdeka.

He was testifying at the Suhakam public inquiry into human rights abuses during the rally.

“The army usually uses them for defence against the enemy,” he said. “It is used to delay or slow down the enemy. It is not supposed to be used against the public or on the road.

War grade barbed wire used at Bersih rally’

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Malaysiakini

Witness: Bersih participant’s ear almost ‘sliced off’
  • S Pathmawathy
  • 4:07PM Jul 5, 2012

A volunteer with the Red Crescent Society (RCS) during the April 28 Bersih 3.0 rally saw a man with his ear almost “sliced off” and he insisted that it was caused by “deterrent” equipment used by the police.

Witness: Bersih participant’s ear almost ‘sliced off‘ – Yahoo ..
my.news.yahoo.com/witnessbersih-participants-earalmost… – Cached

Witness: Bersih participant’s ear almost ‘sliced offA volunteer with the Red Crescent Society (RCS) during the Ap;ril 28 Bersih 3.0 rally saw a man with his ear almostsliced off” and he insisted that it was caused by …www.malaysiakini.com/news/202794 – Cached

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Malaysiakini

Suhakam’s Bersih 3.0 inquiry to kick off July 5
2:34PM Jun 30, 2012

The Malaysia Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) will on July 5 begin its own inquiry into allegations of excessive force by the authorities during the April 28 Bersih 3.0 rally.

In a statement today, the commission’s secretary Rodziah Abdul announced the commencement saying they had completed perusing the submissions from the public related to the massive rally for electoral reform.

NONE“As of June 21, 2012, the Commission has completed perusal of the public submissions it has received from the public in the form of documents, statements and video recordings, and identification of witnesses.

“The commission is awaiting for a response from the police, to (our) request and subsequent reminder of (our) intention to interview the police personnel who were on duty during the 28 April public assembly,” she said.

Last month Suhakam declared that it could no longer wait for the government’s inquiry into the same matter, and unveiled its panel and terms of reference for its own inquiry.

Suhakam’s Bersih 3.0 inquiry to kick off July 5 … The Malaysia Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) will on July 5

www.malaysiakini.com/news/202362 – Cached

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Sundaily

PETALING JAYA (May 21, 2012): The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has decided to conduct a public inquiry into allegations on incidents during and after the Bersih 3.0 rally held on April 28.

____________________________________________________________

SUHAKAM

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Malay: Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Malaysia) better known locally as SUHAKAM is the national human rights institution (NHRI) of Malaysia. It was established by the Malaysian Parliament under the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999, Act 597, and began its work in April 2000. Its mandate is to promote human rights education, advise on legislation and policy, and conduct investigations. For the period 20010-2013 the commission is headed by Tan Sri Hasmy Agam, a former diplomat.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

_____________________________________________________________

Sundaily

KUALA LUMPUR (June 6, 2012): theSun reporter Radzi Razak who was assaulted by uniformed policemen while covering the Bersih 3.0 rally was interviewed by the National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) today.

The interview which lasted over two hours was held to shortlist witnesses who will be called in to testify during Suhakam’s public inquiry on incidents which took place during the rally on April 28.

Suhakam interviews theSun journalist on alleged violence during Bersih 3.0

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2 Responses to SUHAKAM: PUBLIC INQUIRY ON VIOLENCE AT BERSIH 3.0

  1. Pingback: BERSIH 3.0: FINDINGS OF THE INDEPENDENT ADVISORY PANEL | weehingthong

  2. Pingback: Suhakam 2016: Neutral or Tail-wagger? | weehingthong

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