Some protesters related to Bersih of the treatment at the hands of the police.
KUALA LUMPUR: Most of the protesters at the Bersih 3.0 rally yesterday were allegedly beaten when they were at the Masjid Jamek area.
Many of them claimed the police carried no name tags or identification numbers on their uniforms when they launched their attacks at about 6pm. The assault lasted for three hours.
Some of the protesters related their ordeal to Bersih at a press conference at a restaurant near the Chinese Assembly Hall here today.
Protester Adrian Low (picture above), 38, said he was repeatedly stomped on his back even after he was detained. His back still carries the footprints of the police boots.
“I was at the side walk of the road, texting to a friend who had gone missing when about 10 police officers charged at me. I was wearing the yellow Bersih T-shirt.
“The officers kicked and punched me in the eye, head, neck,” he said.
“Then I was taken to Dataran Merdeka [which had been turned into a temporary detention centre]. There they continued to assault me.
“They just came and punched me continuously even after I was detained,” he said. Beaten several minutes
Another protester, Nurul Amani Faizal (picture right), 28, said that 10 male police officers charged at her and beat her.
“They had just fired a tear gas at Masjid Jamek so my friends and I ran in the opposite direction. I wasn’t wearing the Bersih T-shirt but I was a rally participant. They caught hold of me and beat me.
“Then one officer slapped me and asked a female officer to arrest me,” she said, adding that she sustained injuries in her lower back.
Mohamad Fazwan Yusoff (picture below left), 23, who sustained bruises to his face and left eye, said that he was about to leave Masjid Jamek when the police dragged him and assaulted him.
“My friends and I saw the police step on a lady so we went to help her. Suddenly, a group of policemen appeared and attacked us too.
“I don’t remember how many charged at me but I was beaten for several minutes and they didn’t stop even in the police truck.
“They just continued their assault,” he said.
Daniel Lee (picture below, right), 39, who was in his Himpunan Hijau green T-shirt, said that he was assaulted for taking pictures of the policemen beating the protesters.
“I wanted to go back to Kelana Jaya. I was at Masjid Jamek station when I saw some policemen assaulting someone so I took a video. They then surrounded me.
“They didn’t take my camera but they punched and kicked me and I needed five stitches behind my ear,” he said, showing his blood-stained green shirt. Photographic evidence
Bersih steering committee member, Wong Chin Huat, who was arrested himself, said that it was not unusual for the police to continue their insults and assaults even after the protesters were detained.
“They only stopped beating me when I fell to the ground; even then, they continued to shout racial insults in the trucks,” he said.
He also said that Bersih heard of policemen who were dressed in yellow Bersih T-shirts while videographing the detainees in the police trucks and detention centres.
Bersih co-chairman, S Ambiga, called for a full inquiry into the protest to identify “those who created the problem”.
“There is too many photographic evidence. When the dust settles, the truth will emerge,” she said.
The peaceful assembly turned violent at about 3pm when some protesters breached the barricade which cordoned off Dataran Merdeka.
Tear gas and water cannons were fired to disperse the 80,000-strong crowd. The police and protesters clashed for about four hours before police regained control of the city.
As of last night, police said that 388 arrests were made.
However, Bersih steering committee member, Maria Chin Abdullah, said that the police told PKR vice -president Tian Chua (who was also arrested) that 460 arrests were made.
“He was released at 5am this morning and the police conveyed the information [of the arrests] to him,” she said.