Sunday, April 29, 2012
Bersih 3.0: Horror stories of police aggression
One had a black eye, another a bloodied eye, another a bruised forehead, another a shoe mark on his back ...
Several victims, some badly injured, came forward at a post-Bersih 3.0 press conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, claiming that they had been beaten up by police on during the rally on Saturday.
These are their accounts, edited for language and brevity.
Alex Lee, 27, suffered injuries to his right eye and left ear, and had bruises on his body
About 7.30pm, I was at a mamak stall having dinner with seven to eight friends. About 10 police personnel came in and threatened to arrest us for wearing yellow to-shirts.
They were not wearing name tags. They told us to take off the t-shirts, saying these are illegal.
They asked if I was eating there. I asked if this was a problem. Then they started to hit me. They only let me go after I took off my t-shirt.
Fazwan Yusof, 23, had injuries to both eyes and bruises on his right cheek
I was at Masjid Jamek about 7pm when the police told us to disperse. While at the LRT station to get a train, my three friends and I saw a woman being stomped on, so we ran.
The police gave chase and caught us. We were handcuffed and then beaten along the alleyway near the LRT station.
Nurul Armani, 28, had bruises on her back and left shoulder
I was opposite the Masjid Jamek LRTstation about 5.30pm, trying to escape the tear gas. I was wearing a grey t-shirt.
About 10 police personnel pulled my hair and kicked me, so I shouted 'polis ganas' (police brutality). An officer slapped me and told me to shut up before ordering a female officer to arrest me.
Adrian Low, 38, had a shoe mark on his back, injuries on his face and neck, and temporarily lost vision in his right eye
I was standing on the sidewalk in Jalan Tun Perak about 6pm, trying to send a text-message to locate my friends, when the police charged at protesters in Masjid Jamek.
A police officer came up and said I was detained. I asked what the charge was, but he did not say. I did not want to resist so I followed him.
Then a group of police attacked me. They punched me and pushed me to the ground and continued to stomp on my head and neck. The beating lasted a few minutes.
My handphone fell to the ground during the beating (and then) it was gone.
They then dragged me to Dataran Merdeka and along the way, others came up and punched and kicked me.
Hafizi Imran, 26, had a wound on his forehead, and was hit on the head, back and chest
I was near the Kuala Lumpur City Hall headquarters about 4pm. Trying to escape the tear gas, I ran behind the building but was surrounded by police personnel.
An officer pulled at my Bersih t-shirt and took me to a police sub-station. On the way other police officers surrounded me and hit me.
I was not sure how many there were, as I had covered my face while being beaten. I was later taken to the Police Training Centre (Pulapol).
Daniel Lee Teck Yew, 39, had five stiches on his right ear
I was changing trains at the Masjid Jamek LRT station about 6.50pm when I saw some people beating up others on the street, so I took a photo.
The police then ambushed me and arrested me. When I asked why, they told me to follow them and not to ask any questions.
And then they starting hitting me. When I followed them downstairs, I fell and they kicked me again. There were about 10 police officers.
On the way to Dataran Merdeka they hit me and used abusive language on me. When they put me in a truck for transport to Pulapol, they kicked me twice again. I saw two others with serious injuries.
I was given basic first aid treatment at Pulapol. They let me keep my camera.
Hii Tiong Huat, 60, had bruises on his chest and injuries to his left eye
When I was standing beside the media to take photos, a police officer politely said that I should go to a corner as I am an old man.
But once there, he hit me. I shouted at him, then he punched me in the left eye.
My camera and memory card were taken away.
David Leong, who was kicked, slapped and robbed of his gold chain
I was heeding police instruction to disperse about 3.45pm. I went to the Monorail station near Sogo but it was closed, so I sat there to wait. I wearing the green Himpunan Hijau t-shirt.
At 4pm, a police officer approached me and said I was arrested. I asked why but he did not answer. He was not wearing a name tag.
Then he slapped me and punched me in the abdomen, pulled off my gold chain and took me to the Royal Selangor Club where everyone else was being detained.
On the way, two rows of police officers laughed at me and made racist remarks about me. They also kicked and slapped me.
The officer did not give me back my chain. I was very scared, I did not know what to say to the police. They should protect the people, not rob us.
Bersih steering committee member Wong Chin Huat, who was hit on the head, stomach and groin
After the Bersih press conference at KL Sentral, fellow steering committee member Maria Chin Abdullah and I went to Jalan Tun Perak to see if we could help disperse the crowd or with the clean up.
Then we realised the stand-off between protesters and police had intensified so we ran off (separately). I hid at a budget hotel.
When I thought it was safe I walked out to go to my car. A police officer from across the street grabbed me and said I was under arrest.
I asked the officer why. He told me to ask his officer. I did not resist and followed him to Dataran Merdeka. When I walked passed a pack of police officers on both sides, they punched and kicked me. They also made racist remarks.
I fell down. When it looked like I was going to faint, they stopped hitting me.
While being transported to Pulapol on a bus, an officer apologised for the beating, explaining that the aggression was due to rumours that a police officer had died.