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Monday, July 16, 2012
Witness: Cops threw bottles, stones at Bersih crowd
By Thanusya Shanmuganathan
July 16, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 — Several policemen threw bottles, stones and metal items at the crowd during the April 28 Bersih rally, a Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) inquiry was told today, as more witnesses stepped forward to detail their experience at the protest for clean and fair elections.
Adrian Loh, a software support worker from Petaling Jaya, told today’s inquiry he was taking refuge at the Masjid Jamek mosque when riot police fired tear gas and water cannons.
File photo of several policemen (in blue) arresting a Bersih supporter (in yellow) on April 28.
He testified that groups of 10 to 20 young policemen in blue uniform shouted at the dispersing crowd while throwing plastic bottles, stones and metal pieces at them.
“The policemen started throwing peculiar looking objects which looked like bottles, stones and metal pieces at the crowd. I have no idea where the metal pieces came from,” said Loh, who was the first witness to testify today, the third day of the inquiry.
He added that the policemen dared the crowd to fight them. The enraged crowd then threw back the bottles and stones at the policemen, he said.
The inquiry is to determine whether any violations of human rights were committed against any person or party during and after the gathering.
The inquiry panel, led by Suhakam vice-chairman Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee and aided by commissioners Professor Datuk Dr Mahmood Zuhdi Abdul Majid and Detta Samen, will be interviewing some 22 witnesses over a period of 22 days.