Wednesday, May 2, 2012

DAP: Probe ‘Gestapo’ police violence | Free Malaysia Today

DAP: Probe ‘Gestapo’ police violence

Athi Shankar | May 2, 2012-FMT
DAP opens fire on the police for their actions during the Bersih 3.0 rally and demands an apology from the home minister as well as the prime minister.
GEORGE TOWN: DAP has called on Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to order an immediate probe into the police misconduct during last Saturday’s Bersih 3.0 rally in Kuala Lumpur.

Its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng called on the minister to task an independent inquiry, comprising international experts, to provide a credible report on the matter.

He hinted at widely held public distrust and doubts on the government holding a proper and fair inquiry on the incidents.

“Those guilty must be brought to justice. There must be no cover-up or Hishammuddin risks ruining what little reputation is left of the police,” reminded the Penang chief minister.

He pointed out that Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar had already contradicted Hishammuddin’s claim by insisting that seizing cameras was not part of the police’s standard operating procedure (SOP).

“Hishamuddin has the audacity to brush away allegations by claiming that it was police SOP to confiscate camera equipment,” he said.

Lim called on all Malaysians to dress in black and pin a yellow ribbon tomorrow, May 3, not only to commemorate World Press Freedom day but also to stand in solidarity with the media personnel who became victims of police brutality during the rally.

He said DAP strongly condemned the ugly incidents at the rally, in which protesters, media workers and reporters were attacked and had their cameras taken away or smashed by the police.

“What has our country turned into when even the sacred rule of freedom of the press can be openly, publicly and blatantly violated?” he asked Lim.

He argued that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s whispered apology to one of the media personnel injured in the fracas confirmed that the police assaulted media members.

Lim said if Umno and Perkasa could get away with assaulting reporters in Penang, despite photo and video evidence, could Malaysians expect justice when it was the police perpetrating the act.

“Only an independent inquiry can reveal the truth,” he added.

‘Acting like mobsters’

Meanwhile, DAP publicity chief Tony Pua accused the police of behaving like mobsters and Nazi Germany’s secret police, the Gestapo, during the Bersih 3.0 rally.

“The police acted like unrestrained mobsters, often with 10 or more police officers beating up an individual or two. It will not be an understatement to say the police were creating a riot in the city.

“Do the police have a licence to beat up any person on the street as they like, regardless of whether a crime has been committed?” he asked.

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP said while no Malaysian would blame the police for arresting those who damaged police or public property, there was absolutely no justification for them to threaten and beat up every person they found in yellow even if they were participating in the rally earlier.

“The very people who were entrusted to protect innocent and ordinary Malaysians were turning on them,” he said, demanding an apology from Hishammuddin and Najib.

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