interfered with protesters’ right to assembly
• Inquiry: Cops used excessive force against protesters
KUALA LUMPUR, Fri: SUHAKAM today released its Report of the Public Inquiry into the Incident at KLCC on 28 May 2006 making findings that the actions of the police and FRU in dispersing the peaceful assembly on that day were disproportionate and interfered with the rights of the protestors to assemble peacefully.
In a 92–page strong report, SUHAKAM made key recommendations calling for the decriminalising of peaceful assembly without a licence under section 27 of the Police Act, 1967 and the repeal of sections 27(2), (2A) to (2D), (4), (4A), (5), (5A) to (5C), (7), (8) and 27A of the Police Act. It further noted that laws regulating assemblies have moved towards a “co–operative model” in several jurisdictions where parties, the police and the organizers, co–operate in the regulation of an assembly.
Datuk K.C. Vohrah, who chaired the public inquiry, said that the submissions made by the Bar Council and the Bar Council Legal Aid Centre (KL) were useful. (Click here to download Bar Council Report and here for the Bar Council Legal Aid Centre Report.)
The Bar Council and the Bar Council Legal Aid Centre (KL) both made submissions
to SUHAKAM giving views on the facts of the case and making recommendations
after taking into account laws in different jurisdictions such as America, Hong
Kong, Ireland, Australia and United Kingdom.
Members of the Bar present at the press conference lauded the SUHAKAM report and thanked the Panel of Inquiry for its good work. The Bar President, Ambiga Sreenevasan expressed gratitude to SUHAKAM for conducting the Inquiry and making the report, which the Bar fully supported.
When contacted, she extended her appreciation to members of the Bar who represented the Bar and the Bar Council Legal Aid Centre (KL) during the Inquiry and helped draft the said reports. Members of the Bar which took an active part in this process include Amer Hamzah, Chen Hong Lynn, Edmund Bon, Edward Saw, Fahri Azzat, Nik Mohamed Ikhwan, Richard Wee, Ramesh Sivakumar, Chan Weng Keng, Sivarasa Rasiah, M. Moganambal, Latheefa Koya and R. Ragunanthanan.
Ambiga also thanked the secretariat and pupils of the Bar Council Legal Aid Center (KL) who provided invaluable assistance throughout the inquiry and Chang Lih Kang, Gowri Balasubramaniam and Yap Swee Seng of SUARAM who assisted in the preparation of the Bar Council Legal Aid Centre Report.