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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Suhakam's Bersih 3.0 inquiry to kick off July 5



The Malaysia Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) will on July 5 begin its own inquiry into allegations of excessive force by the authorities during the April 28 Bersih 3.0 rally.

In a statement today, the commission’s secretary Rodziah Abdul announced the commencement saying they had completed perusing the submissions from the public related to the massive rally for electoral reform.

NONE“As of June 21, 2012, the Commission has completed perusal of the public submissions it has received from the public in the form of documents, statements and video recordings, and identification of witnesses. 

“The commission is awaiting for a response from the police, to (our) request and subsequent reminder of (our) intention to interview the police personnel who were on duty during the 28 April public assembly,” she said.

Last month Suhakam declared that it could no longer wait for the government’s inquiry into the same matter, and unveiled its panel and terms of reference for its own inquiry.

NONEThey also called on the public to submit materials documenting the events during the rally to assist in their inquiry.

“The commission’s decision to conduct the public inquiry into allegations of the use of excessive force by the authorities during and after the public assembly on April 28 takes into account its own monitoring of the event and a number of other pertinent factors."
These factors, she said, include the submission of complaints, reports and memoranda from members of the public, human rights and professional groups, as well as other members of civil society, to the commission relating to the matter, all of which called for an independent inquiry into the said event.
Suhakam’s inquiry follows the government’s own highly criticised inquiry into Bersih 3.0, led by the controversial former police chief Hanif Omar.

The government had been slammed for allowing their inquiry to proceed despite Suhakam being the proper agency to carry out the task, casting doubts on the former’s sincerity in getting to the bottom of alleged police violence during the event.

Hanif himself had received much flak for having made prejudicial statements against Bersih prior to his appointment as head of the government inquiry.

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