Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bersih or Kotor (Clean or Dirty)?

The issues of police brutality and mob violence have overshadowed the aims of the Bersih 3.0 movement which are to call for free and fair elections.

The police are saying they held their fire till the barricades surrounding Dataran Merdeka were broken and said many cops were attacked by the demonstrators.

The demonstrators say they were beaten up by the cops and many press photographers and videographers were also whacked and their equipment either broken or seized by the 'law enforcers'. Some had the memory cards of their cameras and camcorders seized.

The violence escalated from about 5.45pm last Saturday when fighting erupted between the cops and a group of perhaps 1,000 diehard demonstrators in the Masjid Jamek area. This was when the news photographers and videographers were ordered not to film or take snaps of the brutal attacks and when they did, their equipment were seized or smashed. Some were beaten up by the cops.

Mainstream media have published photos of demonstrators attacking a police car and a demonstrator kicking a fallen policeman to 'prove' that the Bersih protesters were violent thugs perhaps to justify their 'dirty' deeds. However, despite all that propaganda spewing from the authorities, there is no denying that there were numerous cases of police brutality.

Bernama photo showing a man kicking a fallen traffic cop.
Photo of demonstrators kicking a police car.

These photos of mob violence involving purportedly Bersih demonstrators have to be compared with the following photos of police brutality for a balanced perspective of the unruly part of Bersih 3.0 on April 28 in Kuala Lumpur.

Uniformed cops kicking a fallen Bersih demonstrator.
Still shot of video footage of cops kicking and hitting
 a fallen Bersih demonstrator with a rod.

Some websites have claimed that this cop (top picture) looks like the
purported Bersih demonstrator kicking the fallen cop.

The cops may have tried to prevent press photographers/videographers from recording their punching and kicking of the demonstrators, but some footages of the assaults have made their way to YouTube.

Some websites have countered that a few of the 'violent thugs' were planted - they were agent provocateurs.

Photographs have been posted comparing the similarity in looks between the 'violent thug' who kicked a fallen traffic cop and the cop in civvies arresting a demonstrator. It is not known whether these photos have been doctored.

But what is telling is the fact that the picture of the 'violent thug' kicking a fallen cop is from Bernama, the national news agency, while footage of a man jumping on the roof of a police car is from the police website.

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