Whacked in custody PRICE OF SURRENDER Bersih 3.0

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Kuala Lumpur (May 16) Mohd Safuan bin Mamat is one of the dozens of protesters accused by the police of being involved in violence and whose mugshots were splashed on the UMNO-controlled media like common criminals.

PRICE OF SURRENDER… Safuan shows where he was beaten with a pipe rod at the Dang Wangi police lock-up
Yesterday morning, he dutifully surrendered himself at the Dang Wangi police headquarters, hoping to “assist” police in their investigation.

Shortly after, he was handcuffed and brought to the lock-up, but not before an officer threatened him with torture if he refused to confess that he was responsible for violence on April 28.

“While in the lock-up, a uniformed police who was holding a black pipe rod, asked me: ‘You are Bersih, aren’t you?’ before he kicked my buttock and pushed me into a cell. I fell down and he instructed me to get up and sit on a chair,” said Safuan, 25, recalling his ordeal in a police report he filed at the Petaling Jaya police headquarters today.

Safuan, who hails from Terengganu and works as a technician, was accompanied by rights lawyers Fadiah Nadwa Fikri and Afiq M Noor from Lawyers for Liberty, Maria Chin Abdullah and Mandeep Singh from Bersih and representatives from human rights group KOMAS.

Safuan said the same officer then started beating his face and shoulder with the black pipe, telling him to confess that he had vandalised a police patrol car.

Safuan maintained his innocence to the officer, and was later told to change clothes. Another officer, who brought him to a different cell occupied by four detainees, then jested at them that Safuan was a Bersih protester. “Gangster!” yelled the policeman. One of the detainees then slapped him four times, without being prevented by the policeman, said Safuan.

According to Safuan, he had also been forced to sign a document which he suspected was a written confession prepared by the police.

He hoped the incident of his torture under custody would be investigated.

Prior to this, another Bersih participant, Khalid Ismath, said he was asked unrelated questions of a sexual nature when he was interrogated over claims that he had kicked a traffic cop during the April 28 rally.

Khalid had also voluntarily gone to the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters to assist with investigations into the allegation against him.

Some 200,000 people gathered for the Bersih 3.0 rally in several parts of the capital on April 28, calling for urgent electoral reforms be carried out before the next general election.

The government earlier snubbed an offer by United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, Frank William La Rue, to objectively investigate the incidents during the rally. Instead, it appointed former police chief Hanif Omar to head its ‘independent panel’. -Harakah Daily