Suhakam: Police did not resort to violence (NST)

NST – 2007/11/12
By Syed Umar Ariff
KOTA BARU: Police contained the illegal demonstration in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday professionally and managed to avoid any untoward incident, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commissioner Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam said yesterday.

Siva Subramaniam was at the rally in the city centre to monitor police conduct. He found that police did not use violence to control the crowds.
“I saw that the police did not even use their batons to disperse the crowd. So if there is any allegation of police brutality, it would not be true.
“If there were, reports would have been lodged with Suhakam. The police have acted professionally on the matter.”
Siva Subramaniam said this at the “Suhakam Bersama Rakyat Kelantan 2007” function here yesterday. Present were Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat and Suhakam vice-chairman Tan Sri Simon Sipaun.
Police used teargas and water cannons to disperse the gathering, which assembled at Masjid Jamek and the National Mosque to march towards Dataran Merdeka. A police cordon held them off.
Many of the protesters, wearing yellow T-shirts and bandannas, later converged outside Istana Negara as opposition leaders handed over a memorandum to a palace official.
Siva Subramaniam also lauded the immediate release of the 245 people who allegedly took part in the gathering after their statements were recorded by police.
“In the past, those arrested for such cases would have to spend one to two days in the lock-up. But on Saturday, they were all released after their statements were taken.
“It is a sign that Malaysia respects human rights,” he said, adding that Suhakam would provide suggestions to the government on how to deal with illegal gatherings.
“We can suggest but I can’t guarantee that the government will approve them.”government will approve them.”