Probe Into Bersih 2.0 Police Brutality Completed

The full report on the probe into alleged police brutality during the Bersih 2.0 rally is expected to reach the cabinet soon, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said today.

He said inspector-general of police Ismail Omar had on two separate occasions briefed him on the contents of the report, which is based on investigations carried out by six special committees set up to look into the complaints.

Hishammuddin, however, was sparse on the details in the report, saying that it was up to the IGP to reveal more over the next few days.

Whether or not the report would be made public, he said, would depend on the cabinet's decision after it has gone through the report.

“It depends on the cabinet and police advice. I would like it to be public and as transparent as possible,” he told a press conference after meeting senior members of the national ex-police officers association.

Last July, the police announced that they had formed six committees to investigate claims of police brutality at various hotspots in Kuala Lumpur where police fired tear gas and water cannons at protesters during the July 9 event.

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In what was seen as an attempt to quell public anger over the rampant use of tear gas and water cannons in and around Kuala Lumpur, both Ismail and his deputy, Khalid Abu Bakar, urged the public to provide police with video and photographic evidence to back claims of police brutality.

However, the committees did not probe the controversial siege on the Tung Shin Hospital, where eyewitnesses and protesters claimed that police had fired tear gas and a water cannons directly into the hospital compound.

'Action to be taken where necessary'

When pressed for more details on the report, Hishammuddin declined to give anything away, repeating that it was for Ismail to announce.

“I believe it is based on events alleged to have taken place by certain quarters, which are pro and against (police) action that was taken. It is just a matter of informing the public, based on the investigations,” he said.

Hishammuddin did point out that the police would forward the report to the attorney-general should it point to any incident or action that was against the law, including on those lodging false reports claiming police brutality.

“Yes. Action will be taken as usual. (It will be taken against) whoever... nobody is above the law. The findings are not targeting anybody, it's just to find the truth,” he said.

Hishammuddin added that special treatment would not be given to police officers found to have breached the standard operating procedures of the force.

“But if there is something wrong with the SOP in the eyes of the public, that's another matter. You cannot blame them (police) for doing what they have been trained to do.”

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