The public inquiry held by Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) has found that the police indeed used excessive force against protesters at the KLCC last year, resulting in a number abusive, confrontational protestors being injured. From the pictures in the linked posts, you will no doubt see they were heavily armed too... with sandwiches, thermos flasks, manila cards and small children.
The findings of the inquiry included:
- Excessive force by some members of the police force;At much the same time, the current IGP (Inspector General of Police) unveils a new vision and mission for the Malaysian police force. With irony... or [dare I hope] greater intent, the IGP included this assurance.
- The crowd had started to disperse when the water cannon was activated and the police charged after them and Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) personnel and police officers used force on the crowd;
- The assembly was a peaceful one and the actions and speeches did not incite or cause a breach of peace or violence; and
- The provisions of section 27 of the Police Act 1967 that requires a licence for assemblies and the phrase "prejudicial to the interest of the security of Malaysia" went against the right to freedom of assembly enshrined in Article 10 of the Constitution.
"The interference by the police in dispersing the assembly and the arrests were disproportionate to the aim of preventing disorder," said the report. It recommended the police conduct investigations to ascertain who usedforce against the victims with a view to taking disciplinary action
"every policeman must be friendly and approachable and respect human rights."Malaysians can only hope it will come to pass.