We condemn violence and want a full inquiry, says Bersih co-chairman

Cleaning up: DBKL staff clearing the mess after Saturday’s rally in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR - Bersih 3.0 organisers have condemned the acts of violence during Saturday's rally.

Bersih co-chairman Datuk S. Ambiga said the group tolerated no act of violence and urged for a full inquiry by Suhakam.

"Who gave the order for tear gas to be fired into the Masjid Jamek LRT station? Why did so many ordinary Malaysians who came peacefully suffer injuries? Who were responsible for the acts of violence? A full inquiry has to be held. Nothing less will be acceptable.

"We want those people who created problems identified," she said at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall yesterday.

Ambiga denied that the organisers lost control of the crowd, claiming that things turned unruly only after police fired tear gas into the crowd. "Until then, we had complete control."

Asked about a video showing people wearing Bersih shirts barging through the barricades, she said: "We want to know who they are. We did not issue it (such an order)."

On allegations that Opposition leaders were instigating the crowd to breach the barricades, Ambiga said: "Let there be a full inquiry."

At the press conference, nine demonstrators claimed that they were assaulted by police.

Nurul Aman, 28, claimed that her hair was pulled by a group of police officers who beat her up while she was in a fast food restaurant in the Masjid Jamek area at about 5.30pm.

"They then told a policewoman to arrest me. When I screamed police brutality, I was slapped and told to shut up," she said.

A group of foreign observers blamed the police for the violence.

India Today editor Mobashar Jawad Akbar said the participants were in festive mood until the tear gas was fired.

"The crowd had been there overnight and would have had ample time to turn violent if they wanted to," said Akbar.

The others were Independent Australian Senator Nick Xenophon, Dr Clinton Forehands from Australia, Pakistan's Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, Julian Scmucker from Germany, Dr Mohamad Nasir Tamara from Indonesia and Dean Armando Valdez from the Philippines.

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