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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hisham: Photo equipment seized as part of SOP

Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the confiscation of memory cards and cameras belonging to journalists during the Bersih 3.0 rally were part of the police's standard operating procedure (SOP).

Speaking at the Kuala Lumpur general hospital, Hishammuddin said this when asked why the items were seized since he claimed that the police had nothing to hide.

"I don't know. This is the standard operating procedure of police...," he said.

On police heavy-handed tactics on journalists, Hishammuddin said such queries should be directed to the inspector-general of police, who will only be addressing the press tomorrow.

Stressing that police had done a commendable job in controlling the situation, he said that he hopes that allegations that journalists being roughed up are not true.

“We will not protect anyone and will treat everyone justly. Don't speculate. There were all sorts of rumours yesterday which were not true. I ask the public to be fair,” he said. 

He added that the items seized from journalists would be returned to them “as per usual”. 

'Some say we not tough enough'

Hishammuddin also dismissed claims that police had provoked the chaos by firing teargas. 

“I suggest to the IGP that we make a timeline (of police video recordings). Police have done their best. In fact many asked why we have not been more tough,” he said. 

He also urged the Bar Council and the National Human Rights Council (Suhakam) to come forward with evidence too, if they claim there have been abuse of power by the police. 

“Let's get down to the truth. We want justice,” he said. 

Asked if there will be any action taken against PKR deputy president Azmin Ali who is accused of instigating protestors to break into Dataran Merdeka, he said: “Anybody who broke the law will have action taken against them, if there is enough evidence recorded and witnesses.”
Visits victims
He said the same goes for parents who brought children under 15 to the protest, which contravenes with the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012. 

However, he said the question of whether to charge or not will be at the discretion of the attorney-general. 

Earlier, Hishammuddin visited police corporal Mohamad Kamil Paimin who was driving the police car which crashed into two protesters at Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman yesterday. 

He also visited Al Hijrah videographer Mohd Azri Mohd Salleh who was allegedly assaulted by protesters when he tried to protect Mohamad Kamil and The Sun reporter Radzi Razak who claimed to be beaten up by police personnel. 

In the same ward as Mohamad Kamil was traffic police lance corporal Mohd Nasir Mansor who was also injured during yesterday's rally.

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