Batu Buruk riot: Suhakam inquiry hits a snag

Dec 10, 07 4:21pm

Human Rights Commission of Malaysia’s (Suhakam) public inquiry into the Batu Buruk riot in Kuala Terengganu scheduled for Dec 14 to 16 now looks uncertain.

This comes as the two men shot during the demonstration on Sept 8 have now been charged for causing hurt to a police officer and for participating in an illegal assembly.
During the riot, Muhammad Azman Abdul Aziz, 21 and Suwandi Abdul Ghani, 38 had sustained gunshot wounds to the to chest and neck respectively.
According to Bernama, both men had allegedly injured the policeman with 18 others at about 11.40pm in Hotel Permai Inn at Jalan Sultan Mahmud.
Police claimed that the policeman Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Omar fired in self-defence after being attacked by a crowd.
Judge Hassan Abdul Ghani refused bail for both men and fixed Dec 30 and 31 for trial.
Suhakam still deliberating
When contacted, a Suhakam representative confirmed that the commission is still deliberating on whether to proceed with the public inquiry given the new development.
Assistant secretary of the complaints and inquiries division Shahizad Sulaiman said Suhakam was still waiting for information from the police.
He added that Suhakam cannot base their decision on media reports alone.
The commission is expected to make an announcement within the next few days.
The three-day public inquiry at Primula Beach Resort in Kuala Terengganu is to be chaired by Suhakam commissioner Muhammad Shafee Abdullah. Also on the panel are commissioners Asiah Abu Samah and Prof Khoo Kay Kim.
“The inquiry will also look into the alleged usage of live ammunition by police personnel (during the riot),” Muhammad Shafee said, as quoted by Bernama.
The police have been heavily criticised for using unprecendented force, including firing live bullets, to disperse the crowd.
A total of seven people were injured, two with gunshot wounds, following a clash between the police and protesters after police moved in to block the ceramah from proceeding.
According to the police, the crowd of about 500 people had verbally abused police officers and hurled stones and Molotov cocktails.