Human rights watchdog assures public after receiving testimonies and video evidence of alleged abuses law enforces during the July 9 Bersih rally.

KUALA LUMPUR: Suhakam’s open inquiry into police violence during the Bersih 2.0 rally will be thorough and “each and every” cop present at every incident of alleged brutality on July 9 will be called in, said its commissioner James Nayagam.

“We assure the public and all parties that the investigation will be independent and impartial,” he said after the Bersih committee handed over a list of testimonies and video evidence of alleged police abuse to the human rights watchdog.

James said that the inquiry will be held “soon” but said the earliest would be after the Ramadan month as the panel was still in the midst of preparatory work.

The three-member panel consists of commissioners, Professor Dr Khaw Lake Tee, Professor Dr Mahmood Zuhdi Majid and Detta anak Samen.

“We expect the probe to take perhaps one or two months as we will be going to all aspects of evidence in our hands,” he said.

Bersih handed over 15 testimonials and 17 videos, and are compiling more. Tenaganita, part of the Bersih coalition for clean and fair elections, also submitted 18 eyewitness statements and other evidence.

Tung Shin hospital incident

Tenaganita head, Irene Fernandez, asked the commission to examine if police breached procedures when they “attacked” protesters taking refuge at the Tung Shin hospital.

“We’re shocked at the arrogance of police to charge into grounds which is supposed to be a sanctuary,” she said.

Meanwhile, TV Selangor reporter Radzi Razak, 26, who was assaulted by policemen on July 9, said he had personally submitted his own case to Suhakam.

“I was observing and taking photographs near Puduraya when three policemen were hitting one Chinese man. People at scene shoutted at the cops to stop.

“One of member of the public threw a bottle on to ground to distract the cops,” he said. “More police arrived at the scene to locate the person who threw the bottle.

“In the melee, I was pushed from the side and I fell and was stepped on by about five to eight policemen repeatedly.

“The crowd then shouted,”Leave him alone, he’s from the media” and the group of policemen backed off,” said Radzi.

Radzi said he was later brought to a hospital for check-up as he found it impossible to walk and only recovered from the multiple bruises after a week.

By Teoh El Sen |

August 5, 2011