Suhakam public inquiry on Bersih misconduct resumes

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) today, resumes its Public Inquiry into the allegation of, among others, excessive use of force during the assembly on 9 July 2011.

Eight witnesses are scheduled to appear before the three-member Panel of Inquiry chaired by Prof Dr Khaw Lake Tee and assisted by Commissioners Prof Dr Mahmood Zuhdi b Abdul Majid and Mr Detta Samen on 15 – 16 November 2011.

At today’s hearing, three of the eight witnesses, out of whom, one was a police officer, gave their testimonies.

The Public Inquiry is conducted pursuant to the complaints and memoranda received by the Commission on the alleged use of excessive force by the enforcement officers during the 9 July public assembly aimed at calling for reforms in the election process.

The Commission had also sent down its monitoring team during the public assembly.

This is the eighth public inquiry conducted by the Commission since its inception, of which half of the total number conducted were consequent upon complaints and memoranda on abuses and excessive use of force in dispersing the crowds during public assemblies.

In furtherance of the protection and promotion of human rights, the Commission has the power to inquire into complaints regarding infringements of human rights and should the complaint warrant an inquiry, the Commission, under the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999 (Act 597), has the power to procure and receive all such evidence and to summon any person(s) to give evidence.

In this regard, the Commission wishes to emphasise that its power to conduct this public inquiry into allegations of human rights violations is derived from Section 12 of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999.

In conducting this inquiry, it is discharging its statutory duty and responsibilities to protect and promote human rights in the country as mandated by Act 597. The next hearing is scheduled to be held on 16 November 2011 at 1.30 – 5.00 pm.