Written by Tian Chua
On July 21, the PDRM held a press conference to justify the violent conduct of police personnel. An edited video footage was released to the press in order to show that BERSIH demonstrators were aggressive and provocative. The PDRM claimed that they had only used minimal force against the peaceful assembly.
One particular clip showed the scene where the crowd marching out of the KL Sentral were met by a row of policemen. The video is said to show me leading the demonstrators running to the front. The PDRM asserted that it was an evidence of provocation.
Subsequently the video has been broadcast on prime time TV almost daily, with the objective of depicting BERSIH rally as violent. This edited video does not give the true picture of what happened at the tunnel that day.
The PDRM has launched an all-out media propaganda war to demonize BERSIH. Although the police did not specifically accused me for “charging” the police, reports in mainstream media insinuate that I and other demonstrators intended to “attack” or cause physical harm to the police officers.
This is far from the truth. From the video, it was clear that the policemen had their guns loaded with tear gas canisters. At the time, the crowd was trapped in an tunnel-like enclosed area. The group included BERSIH chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan, Anwar Ibrahim, Wan Azizah, Hadi Awang, Lim Kit Siang and other leaders and participants.