Ample evidence of police violence

PARTI Keadilan Nasional (keADiLan) condemns the violence perpetrated by the police against political leaders, social activists and members of the public during the demonstrations held in various parts of Kuala Lumpur in the last five days. There is ample evidence to show that a number of demonstrators were kicked, punched and beaten.

We have, for instance, in our possession photographs which  illustrate the effects of the police assault on Tian Chua, Vice President of Parti KeADILan Nasional. The photographs reveal that Tian had been subjected to severe beatings which appear to have left their mark on his lips, face, eyes and other parts of the body. There are also pictures on the Internet which
show one of keADiLan’s supporters, Malek Hussain, cowering in fear, surrounded by a large number of police personnel. Malek was also severely assaulted and had to seek medical treatment. We have also got photographs of other victims of police brutality — including that of a young man who happened to be standing next to Tian when plain clothes police pounced upon them.

It has to be emphasised that when the police assaulted, Tian Malek and the others, they were peaceful participants of a peaceful assembly protesting the unjust conviction of former Deputy Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Anwar I brahim. From various eye-witness accounts, there was no provocation whatsoever from these peaceful demonstrators. Contrary to the lies being
pedalled by the police and the mainstream media, none of those who were assaulted nor their supporters were armed with dangerous weapons.

Parti KeADILan Nasional calls upon the Prime Minister and the Minister of Home Affairs to explain to the public why the police used brutal force upon unarmed, peaceful demonstrators. By using brutal force the police had violated the norms of conduct governing their profession. Are the Prime Minister and the Minister of Home Affairs prepared to take firm action
against the police personnel responsible for the acts of violence? Or will they continue to spin a web of lies to justify police brutality?

This is not the first time that the police has used excessive force against peaceful demonstrators. Right through the Anwar episode — Kampong Baru 24 October 1998 was the high point — peaceful demonstrators have been the victims of police violence. On every occasion, the police and government leaders have twisted the facts and concocted falsehoods to tarnish the image of the demonstrators and of the reform movement in Malaysia.

It is obvious that this time the police, government leaders and elements in the mainstream media are going all out to project the demonstrators as perpetrators of vio1ence supported by Parti KeADILan Nasional while concealing the actual acts of violence committed by the police themselves. They are doing this in order to divert and dilute public anger over the grossly unjust and inhuman sentencing of Anwar Ibrahim to a six-year jail term.

The authorities have failed miserably in their attempt to deceive the public.  The Malaysian people know who are behind the acts of violence just as they know why Anwar was convicted on 14 April 1998.

Instead of continuing to indulge in a game of lies and deceit, Parti KeADILan Nasional urges the authorities and the mainstream Malaysian media to tell the truth to the nation.

Let Tian Chua, Malek Hussain and all the other victims of police brutality in the Anwar episode tell their side of the story to the people through the mainstream media. A responsible goverment and a responsible media would grant them that right.

Dr. Chandra Muzaffar
Deputy President
Parti Keadilan Nasional (keADI Lan)
20 April 1999

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