Sunday, May 20, 2012

Horror Stories

Nineteen victims of police violence at the Bersih 3.0 protest told their horror stories yesterday at a media conference at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH). They recounted their personal experiences at the hands of unidentified police thugs who beat them for either being a rally participant, recording the on-goings,
attempting to help another victim or other frivolous reasons.

Some reported being punched and kicked, another said he was pushed down a flight of stairs and yet another recalled the barrel of gun being shoved into his chest. One victim was facing the possibility of blindness after being hit by a tear gas canister while others suffered injuries requiring stitches.

Bersih 3.0 leader Hishamuddin Rais highlighted what he said was an “organized pattern” in the acts of police brutality on that day. “All the cops who were beating up people wore no name tags or numbers,” he stated.

As Ambiga said, “People must remember that there was an unequal situation that day between armed police and unarmed civilians”.

Ambiga also noted that there had yet to be an official response from the unidentified policemen implicated in the assault on demonstrators and journalists. “They aren’t admitting or denying anything and they owe it to the public to come clean on this issue,” she emphasised.

The Inspector-General of Police must be held accountable, and Najib too. But can we expect justice? I want to believe but I am pessimistic.

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