FAC News -
Monday, March 4, 2002 2:01 PM
ROYAL COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO ANWAR’S BEATING
unveils what the Royal Commission uncovered
September 1998, Anwar Ibrahim organised the biggest anti-government
rally in Malaysia’s
history at the Dataran Merdeka
Estimates put the crowd at between 50,000 to 100,000 but, until
today, no one can really put an exact figure to it.
That same evening,
the police stormed Anwar’s house while he was addressing the media
and a large crowd of supporters and arrested him under the Internal
Security Act (ISA). Why the police should arrest him in such a manner
- fully armed with assault rifles - is a mystery, as Anwar’s lawyers
had been in communication with the police on numerous occasions
to inform them that Anwar would voluntarily report to the nearest
police station if required to do so.
Anwar was then
whisked away to an unknown destination and no one heard from him
or could get access to him until he appeared in public nine days
later with a badly bruised face. While in police custody, Anwar
was badly beaten – while handcuffed and blindfolded - and left unconscious
on the floor where he was discovered the following morning – still
unconscious - by a police officer who had just come on duty.
Four days after
Anwar's detention, Malaysia’s
Inspector General of Police (IGP) falsely declared to the media
that Anwar was "safe and sound". After Anwar's first public
appearance, Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad
brushed aside talk of police brutality and said that the injuries
must have been self-inflicted to gain public sympathy.
On 5 January
1999, the Attorney General (AG) said, “Based on the medical reports
and the investigation file of the Special Investigation Team as
a whole, I am satisfied that several injuries alleged by the Complainant
are not true, while there are injuries on certain parts of his body
proved to have been accused by police officers whilst he was in
The AG added,
“I am also of the opinion that the Royal Malaysian Police is fully
responsible for the injuries to the Complainant whilst he was in
the legal custody of the Police. Nevertheless, the investigations
which have been carried out so far have not identified the person
or persons responsible for such injuries.”
February 1999, a Royal Commission was set up to get to
the bottom of Anwar’s beating and, on 22 February, an Inquiry was
held at the Court House in Kuala Lumpur.
FAC News will highlight some of the findings of the Royal Commission
of Inquiry for those who have not read the full report or may have
forgotten some of the points in the investigation.