Published: Friday September 21, 2012 MYT 3:13:00 PM
Suhakam commissioners walk to places where Bersih rally was held
By FLORENCE A. SAMY
KUALA LUMPUR: Suhakam commissioners went on foot to several parts of the city Friday where the Bersih rally took place to gather information for the ongoing public inquiry on the incident.
Commissioner Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee who is heading the panel of inquiry on Bersih 3.0, said they wanted to get a better understanding of what transpired during the April 28 rally.
"We wanted to see for ourselves the places the witnesses have mentioned to get a clearer picture of what happened that day.
"We now have a better idea of how it happened," she told reporters after the visit.
She also concluded, after the visit, that there was not much room for protestors to run as there were only two roads; a small lane by a hotel and Masjid India; compared to the claims by police that there many areas where protestors could have disbursed.
"We looked at the roads where they could have disbursed and we could only see two...the rest were much further down. If you look at Jalan Tun Perak itself, there is not much room to run except those two."
Despite the sweltering heat, Dr Khaw and fellow Commissioners Prof Datuk Dr Mahmood Zuhdi Abdul Majid and Detta Samen spent three hours on foot visiting numerous locations including Dataran Merdeka, the entire Jalan Tun Perak, Jalan Raja Laut and Jalan Pudu.
They also visited locations where several reporters were arrested, the holding area as well the Masjid Jamek LRT station where a witness claimed he was arrested inside the station.
They were accompanied by three policemen who were on duty that day, including the officer in charge who explained where the barricades were placed and where it was breached.
Also present was an online reporter and inquiry witness who showed the Commissioners where he was when he was allegedly assaulted by the police and where he was taken thereafter.
Dr Khaw said they also plan to visit the Federal Reserve Unit to have a first hand look at the razor-wires and barricades that were used.
The public inquiry would continue this Monday with police testimonies. Dr Khaw expressed hope that those accused of the allegations raised would step forward as witnesses and tell their side of the story, adding that none had done so thus far.
The inquiry which started on July 5, aims to determine whether human rights violations occurred during and after the public assembly, how it occurred, who was responsible and what could be done to prevent such incidents in the future.
It is investigating allegations of excessive use of force by authorities as claimed by several witnesses.
The inquiry is being observed by the Bar Council, Bersih 2.0 and the Royal Malaysian Police.