I will meeting Suhakam on 11 June 2012 to brief them on police brutality against Bersih 3.0 participants.
Please channel your complaints to Suhakam instead to “independent” advisory panel chaired by UMNO crony.
Public Inquiry Into The Incidents During And After The Public Assembly Of 28 April 2012
Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM)
Level 13, Menara TH Perdana
Jalan Sultan Ismail
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Panel willing to meet any party on Bersih probe
PUTRAJAYA (May 28, 2012): The government-appointed independent advisory panel today outlined 10 areas it will focus on in examining the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28 which had turned ugly following incidents of violence.
Panel chairman Tun Hanif Omar (pic) said in a statement that its first meeting on May 25 had decided on 10 terms of reference (TOR) to determine the events that led to the chaos of that day.
The TOR, which came three weeks after the panel was set up by the government on May 2, is different from that of the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) which is conducting a public inquiry based on wider terms of reference.
According to the panel’s TOR, it hopes to establish by consulting all parties and individuals concerned: what caused the chaos in and around Dataran Merdeka and the events leading to it; whether the police had followed the proper procedures particularly in the use of tear gas and water cannons; whether allegations of police brutality towards the public and the media are true.
“The panel is an alternative avenue for those who are willing to co-operate and get to the truth of the matter, said Hanif, who is a former inspector-general of police (IGP).
He had on arrival at the Home Ministry headquarters told reporters gathered for a scheduled press conference to announce the TOR that he had been informed it had been cancelled.
In the statement, Hanif said he hoped the panel would be given the space to do its work without prejudice.
“I am willing to meet with any party, including the Bar Council and Bersih, for the good of all,” he added.
The panel, announced by Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein following public outcry over alleged police brutality and excessive use of force to disperse protestors at the rally, comprises five other members.
They are former Borneo chief judge Tan Sri Steve Shim, Sinar Harian Press Group managing director Datuk Husammuddin Yaacub, Sin Chew Press Group legal adviser Liew Peng Chuan, Petronas corporate affairs general manager Datuk Medan Abdullah and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia psychology expert Prof Dr Ruszmi Ismail.
The panel had received lukewarm response from several quarters, who alleged that Hanif was biased as panel chairman in light of his open criticism of the rally earlier.
The rally was initially planned as a peaceful sit-down rally for clean and fair elections, but turned chaotic when a small group of protesters breached police barricades.
Eight media personnel and 13 police officers were also hurt in the ensuing fracas.
On May 21,Suhakam had announced it would conduct its own public inquiry into the rally.
Suhakam’s terms of reference include determining whether there were violations of human rights to any person or party during and after the rally, and if such violations occurred, to uncover its causes and those responsible for it, and recommend measures to be taken to ensure such human rights violations do not recur.
The Independent advisory panel on Bersih 3.0 will establish:
►the cause of the disorders at and around Dataran Merdeka and the areas leading to it, as well as the nature of the actual disorders, that were reported to have occurred from 3pm on April 28;
►whether any unlawful or negligent act or acts, or omissions, were caused or urged to be caused by any party involved;
►whether the enforcement agencies had adhered to proper and lawful procedures and action at all times particularly in the use of force including tear gas and water cannons;
►whether there was random, widespread and wanton physical assault and brutality by the police on members of the public and media professionals;
►whether there was unlawful confiscation and/or destruction of photographs and video recordings by the public or media professionals, and damage willfully caused to their recording equipment;
►whether there was unlawful and unwarranted arrests of the public and media professionals and whether any persons were physically assaulted, beaten and suffered serious injuries whilst in the custody and care of the police ;
►whether there was unlawful denial of access by lawyers to their arrested clients;
►steps taken by the organisers of Bersih 3.0 to ensure that their planned massive rally would remain peaceful throughout the rally, and disperse peacefully thereafter, and to determine whether the steps taken were reasonably adequate and to draw lessons from this to make appropriate recommendations for the future conduct of peaceful assemblies and rallies;
►review police standard operating procedures in respect of crowd and assembly control and addressing disorderly conduct and riots, against the best practices recommended by the United Nations and/or obtaining in the best of mature democratic societies but also in light of differing socio-political backgrounds and environments – with a view to making appropriate recommendations, if necessary;
►and finally, to examine any other matter to establish the truth.