The 17-minute footage showed FRU officials swinging their batons, civilians running away from the water cannons, the crowd dispersing, announcements by one OCPD and by the protesters. It also showed footage of police officers dragging a person for a distance before placing him down.
The video was filmed by FRU officer Lance Corporal Mohd Nasarudin Hashim who testified in front of a panel of Suhakam commissioners comprising KC Vohrah, Choo Siew Kioh, Dr Michael Yeoh and Zaitoon Othman.
Mohd Nasarudin, 29, a camera man for the past two years, explained to the panel what he did on May 28 when the demonstrations took place. He said that OCPD Kamal Bashar had given orders to Chief Inspector Pusparajan and they (the orders) were then directly given to him. “I was there at 8.45am and I had followed my superior, (Chief Inspector) Pusparajan there. He did not ask me to film anything in particular, he told me to just film what was going on,” he said. Nasarudin, under oath, also said that the footage has not been tempered with and was digitally transferred into a CD.
Use of force Earlier, Keadilan information chief Tian Chua was the first to testify in the morning. He was also represented by counsel R Sivarasa and Amer Hamzah. He has described that he tried negotiating with the OCPD that the protesters would disperse by themselves and the use of water cannons would not be necessary. “He warned that kekerasan (force) would be used if we don’t disperse. I was shocked he actually used the word ‘kekerasan’ when we were just protesting peacefully”, Chua told the panel.
Keadilan deputy youth information chief Badrul Hisham was the second to testify, telling the panel that he was dragged by the police shortly after being hit by the water cannon. “I was surrounded by police officers and I was dragged for quite a distance. The back pockets of my pants were all torn,” he said. He added that he was detained in the Pudu police station for five hours with 17 others before being released. Also present was lawyer Edmund Bon who was appearing for the Bar Council.
This public inquiry will determine whether any human rights violations occurred and if so:
- •which person or agency was responsible for the violations; • how such violations came about;
- what administrative directives and procedures or arrangement contributed to then; and
- what measure should be recommended to be taken to ensure that such violence do not recur. It will be the fifth held by the human rights watchdog since its formation in 1999.