DAP condemns arrests and high-handed police actions at May Day peaceful gathering and calls on Suhakam under Abu  Talib  to institute public inquiry into latest police abuses of human rights

Media Statement 
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Wednesday): DAP condemns the arrests and high-handed police actions at the May Day peaceful gathering planned for the Kuala Lumpur City Centre this morning, which is the latest example of police brutality against workers and  citizens  gathering peacefully to celebrate Workers’ Day.  

As Suhakam has specified in its first annual report that the “right to assembly peacefully and without arms” is one of the ten human rights which it would specifically protect, Suhakam under the new Chairman Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman should publicly deplore the police brutality and institute a public inquiry into the latest police abuses of human rights. 

This is in fact the first test case for the new Suhakam chairman and the second-term Suhakam appointed last week as to whether they  will discharge their statutory powers and responsibilities  to “protect and promote human rights” or whether they have a new policy of eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouths that speak not about human rights violations. 

The police brutality during this year’s May Day is particularly ominous, coming less than two weeks before the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad meets United States President Bush, as it seems to be a cynical  declaration by the government to the nation and the world that human rights in Malaysia would be treated with even greater contempt after the September 11 Incident, with or without  Suhakam.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman