Batang Kali massacre: UK appeal court dismisses application for public inquiry

Batang Kali massacre: UK appeal court dismisses application for public inquiry.

Survivors and descendants of 24 tappers killed by the British Army in Batang Kali in 1948 are urging the British government for a speedy resolution to the massacre issue.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — A British Court of Appeal dismissed an application by family members for a public inquiry on the killings of 24 unarmed civilians by British troops in Batang Kali, Selangor, in 1948.

A three-man bench headed by Lord Justice Maurice Kay also disagreed with counsels acting for the British government that the Malaysian government and the Sultan of Selangor were accountable for the deployment of the troops to Selangor.

“We are not persuaded with the respondents’ argument that the decision to deploy the troops in Malaya was mediated through the High Commissioner.

“The deployment was a deployment of troops of Crown in right of the government of United Kingdom, with the consequence that the Crown become accountable for the actions of the troops,” as stated in the findings of the court which was made available to the press here today.

Quek Ngee Meng, the co-ordinator of the Action Committee Condemning the Massacre, told a media conference on the decision by the British Court of Appeal, that the Appeal Court, in its ruling yesterday, also stated that the court was bound by precedence of earlier court cases which forced them to dismiss the application.

However, he said the judges had reinforced the finding of facts by the lower court where those killed were civilians, unarmed and posed no threat to the soldiers.

They (panel) also stated that all the victims were killed within minutes after they were released before their village was burnt down, he added.

Ngee also pointed out that the panel shared the view that the past investigations on the massacre was ” woefully inadequate”, “one-sided” and ”unfinished”.

Ngee, also a lawyer by profession, said new evidence and confessions made by several British soldiers revealed that the civilians never posed a threat and this cast real doubt over the official account of the incident which said the victims were killed while they attempted to escape.

In 1948, the Second Battalion of the Scot Guards shot and killed 24 civilians in the Sungei Remok Rubber Estate in Batang Kali.

Meanwhile, Datuk Ahmad Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin, who is the legal adviser to the action committee, said they had received instruction from family members to appeal to the Supreme Court.

-BERNAMA

UK Court of Appeal: Massacre Families Would Have Won in European Court of Human Right

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In a landmark decision delivered on Wednesday, the UK Court of Appeal accepted that in light of the recent European Court of Human Rights Grand Chamber decision in Janowiec (2013), the families of those killed in Batang Kali 1948 would be “likely” to win if they took their case to that Court with the families showing the most important human right of all – to life – has been breached.

The families’ appeal was heard last November 26 to 28. They argue that the UK has a legal duty to properly investigate the Batang Kali massacre, given the 2012 Divisional Court ruling that the Scots Guards involved were acting within the normal British Army command structure and so the UK’s  legal responsibility. This element of the Divisional Court judgment was upheld by the Appeal Court which could “see no basis upon that it can be said any such accountability, or liability, passed from the Crown upon the establishment of the independent Federation of Malaya in 1957”. UK government arguments that the Malaysia Government or the Selangor Sultan were somehow responsible for the killings were therefore roundly rejected.

Delivering the appeal  judgment three Lord Justices lead by Maurice Kay LJ, Vice President of the Court of Appeal, found that although the killings had happened before the European Human Right Convention even existed, there was a “genuine connection” between the deaths, the “woefully inadequate” failure to investigate them properly at the time, and the new evidence coming to light, particularly in the 1970s and 1990s, which casts real doubt over the official account that the victims were killed when attempting to escape. That new evidence included confessions by several of the British soldiers to murder. 

The Court of Appeal however ruled that it was bound by a Supreme Court precedent which predated recent European Court of Human Rights law, and hence, dismiss the appeal made by the families. This means that only the UK Supreme Court itself can bring UK law in line with what the European Court has decided and order an inquiry.

The three appellate judges reinforce the finding of facts made by the two judges below. These include those killed were civilians, unarmed, posed no threat to the soldiers, frighten with simulated execution, detained overnight, all were killed within minutes after released, and their village was burn down. The judges criticized heavily the past investigations as “woefully inadequate”, “one-sided” and “unfinished”.

The families are represented by Michael Fordham QC, Danny Friedman QC, Zac Douglas, Stephen Grosz and John Halford of Bindmans LLP. John Halford said today:

“Some might think it remarkable that present-day human rights standards could create a duty to investigate wrongdoing by British troops in a colonial village six decades ago and its cover up in the years that followed. But those standards are rooted in far older British principles, specifically the right to life and to its protection by laws to be enforced on an equal basis. The Batang Kali massacre occurred because, in Britain’s Empire, its principles were sometimes abandoned. The question the Court of Appeal has had to grapple with is whether they could be abandoned with impunity. It clearly thought not, but felt constrained by precedent to withhold a remedy. The victims’ families will now follow the straightforward directions it has given them to seek a final, just outcome. They will ask the Supreme Court to call the state to account for the killings.”

Quek Ngee Meng, the coordinator of the campaign group, Action Committee Condemning the Batang Kali Massacre, said, “Despite the dismissal of the families’ appeal, our journey to seek redress and justice has not come to an end. The destination is not too far off either. Either UK human rights law needs to catch up with Europe with the help of the UK Supreme Court, or the families will need to go to Europe for satisfaction.”

Quek added, the families have given instruction to their London lawyers to appeal against Court of Appeal decision.

Families of 24 people killed by British troops in the British colony of Malaya in 1948 brought the case to the UK Divisional Court in May 2012. On 4 September 2012, the Court upheld a government decision not to hold a public hearing into the killing and also ruled that British Governmnt was responsible for the killing in Batang Kali. In its written judgement, it said, “There is evidence that supports a deliberate execution of the 24 civilians at Batang Kali.”

英上诉庭:屠杀案罹难者家属应能在欧洲人权法院胜诉

 

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英上诉庭于星期三在峇冬加里上诉案宣判了具地标意义的判词。上诉庭三司法官一致认为罹难者家属已符合欧洲人权法院于贾诺维(Janowiec)(2013年)所设立的标准,即他们亲属最重要的人权-生命权利已遭到英政府侵犯,因此家属很可能在欧洲人权法院胜诉。

罹难者家属针对英高庭拒绝要求英政府无须设立听证会的决定在英上诉庭提出上诉,并在去年11月26日至28日听审。家属认为基于英高庭在2012年的判词中裁决涉案的苏格兰卫队是在英军的指示下执行任务,英政府就有法律责任对峇冬加里屠杀案展开正式的调查行动。上诉庭认为高庭的这项裁决正确,并进一步表示上诉庭“看不到任何基础英国王(英政府)的问责或责任已在1957年马来亚联邦独立之际被转移”。英政府企图指责马来西亚政府或雪兰莪苏丹应负责的相互上诉全被上诉庭拒绝。

以上诉庭副主席莫里斯。凯(Maurice Kay LJ)为首的三司上诉庭法官,在宣读判词时表示,他们发现,虽然欧洲人权公约在该屠杀案发生尚未存在,但这起屠杀案事件和较后“严重不足”、具缺陷的调查报告,以及在1970年和1990年代提出的新证据之间,具有“真实的连接性”,以致对罹难者是因尝试逃跑而被射杀的官方说辞产生疑惑。这些新证据也包括数位涉案英军曾经为射杀行动而招供的供词。

无论如何,英上诉庭表示该庭仍束缚于英最高法院在较早前作出的裁决,因此上诉庭驳回家属上诉的申请。这些案例都是在欧洲人权法院于贾诺维案件前下判。这也表示只有英最高法院可以决定让英国本土法律与欧洲人权法院裁决的案例与时并进,从而批准家属寻求听证会的请求。

三位上诉庭法官也支持高庭两位法官所裁决的实情。这些实情包括那些被射杀的罹难者都是平民、没拥有武器、未对士兵构成任何威胁、被模拟处决恐吓、被扣留通宵、所有男村民在被解锁后一瞬间枪毙,以及住所被烧毁。上诉庭法官们对英政府曾在此案所作的调查报告以“严重不足” 、“存有偏见”及“未完成”的词句提出严厉的批判。

罹难者家属的代表律师团为佛韩英女皇律师,费里曼英女皇律师,道格拉斯教授,克鲁斯与哈尔佛。哈尔佛表示:

“很多民众也许会认为只有在今时今日卓越的人权标准,才可以促使英政府有义务针对英军在60多年前英殖民期间所犯下的暴行以及政府当局掩盖真相的丑行召开调查,但是这些标准其实早已根植在英国法律原则内,尤其是生命权利以及法律保障该权利的原则都能在同等基础上执行。不幸的,峇冬加里屠杀案的发生是因为这些法律原则有时在大英帝国被选择性的忽略。因此,上诉庭须面对失否允许豁免英政府搁置这重要原则。上诉庭显然不认同,但它觉得已被先前案例束缚而未能允许家属们的上诉。如今,罹难者家属将依循上诉庭给予的方向寻求最终与公平的结果。她们将要求英最高法院裁决英政府须对屠杀案负责。”

追讨英军屠杀罪行工委会总协调,郭义民律师表示:“虽然上诉庭拒绝了罹难者家属的上诉申请,但我们寻求平反和正义的旅途并未因此而停止,然而目的地也不会离我们太远。英国人权法令必须在英最高法院的协助下与欧洲人权标准与时并进,不然罹难者家属必须远赴欧洲寻求正义。”

罹难者家属已指示伦敦律师团对上诉庭作出的裁决进行上诉。

24名于1948年英殖民时代被英军射杀的罹难者家属们向英高庭提出诉讼并在2012年5月听审。高庭于2012年9月4日裁决英政府无须对该屠杀案进行听证会,但同时也裁决英政府,而不是马来西亚政府或雪州苏丹必须为峇冬加里屠杀案负上法律责任。高庭在其判词中表示,“拥有证据显示峇冬加里的24名平民是被处决的。”

 

Press Release : Families Outraged By British Minister Slamming Door On Their Face

Press Release : Families Outraged By British Minister Slamming Door On Their Face

Victims’ families of the Batang Kali Massacre are outraged that the British Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defence declined their request for an out of court discussion with a sensible view to settle the 6-decades historical wrong once and for all before the appeal hearing scheduled on 25 November 2013.

The families have since 12 December 2012, on the 64th anniversary of the massacre, instructed their London solicitors, Bindmans, to write to the British Minister’s solicitors making proposal for talks to seek a viable settlement of this dispute, which terms of settlement would include acceptance of the London Divisional Court’s findings; withdrawal of the official account; an apology; the funding of a memorial garden at Batang Kali for the victims; and reasonable and modest financial compensation for the families.

The request by the families has been endorsed by 10,000 individual who had signed postcards, British and Malaysian MPs, International NGOs such as Amnesty, Reprieve and Minority Rights Group and Malaysian NGOs, all demanding that responsibility be taken and redress be offered.

Despite numerous reminders and the UK Court of Appeal granting an interim stay to enable the proposed talks to take place, there has been no substantive response until 10 months later. On last Thursday, 24 October, British Ministers through their solicitors told the families that they decline to talk for any possible settlement and the Ministers are remain fully committed to pursue their cross-appeal that Sultan Selangor or Federation of Malaya, instead of British Government, should be the one who was responsible for the killing during the material time.

The families are outraged by the British Ministers slamming door on their face. Such attitude blatantly displayed by the British Ministers is contradicting to the shared values between the British and Malaysian where access to justice and the rule of law are available to everyone.

“We appeal direct to the consciences of those at very highest levels of government in the UK and Malaysia, because British Ministers have shown themselves to be unwilling to talk, or listen”, said Lim Kok, one of the victims’ family whose father was beheaded during the massacre.

Families’ lawyer, John Halford is appalled with the British Ministers’ unreasonable approach in slamming the door for discussion. “When visiting Malaysia last year, the UK Prime Minister David Cameron spoke of the ‘shared values’ of the UK and Malaysia – values that included ‘citizenship that means access to justice and the rule of law is available to everyone’. Yet his very own ministers are denying that justice to the dead of Batang Kali and their surviving families”, said John Halford.

Notwithstanding the hiccup, the families and the Committee are not going to give up, and will continue the journey to justice, which was started by the families’ first generation one week after the massacre in 1948. While the lawyers are preparing relentlessly for the appeal hearing, the Committee is launching a social media campaign today, in connection with the Committee’s proposal to establish a Batang Kali Massacre Memorial Garden which is to be erected beside the Ulu Yam Bahru Kwang Dong Cemetery, Batang Kali, the place where the massacre’s victims were buried.

This social media campaign uses the platform of Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+ and etc to create public awareness of this cold blood massacre. The use of these media also aims at drawing the attention of the Prime Minister as well as Members of Parliament of both Malaysia and UK.

“We hope that there will be more righteousness politicians, civic society activists and the public come forward and send representation to the very highest levels of government in both UK and Malaysia for a just resolution to be reached for this outright historical wrong” say the Campaign Coordinator, Quek Ngee Meng

The Facebook page of this campaign has an extensive contents including a series of posting with regards to the chronology and progress development of the case of the Batang Kali Massacre. The links of the social media are as follow:-
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BatangKaliMassacreMemorialGarden
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CondemningBKM
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100494410803769293795/posts?hl=en_US
Blog: http://www.batangkalimassacre.wordpress.com

CONTACTS:
UNITED KINGDOM MALAYSIA
BINDMANS LLP, HALIM HONG & QUEK (Adv & Sol)
275 Gray’s Inn Road, Suite 9-8, Lobby B, Wisma UOA II
London WC1X 8QB 21 Jln Pinang KL 50450
TEL: 44 (0)20 7833 4433 Tel: 60 3 2710 3818
JOHN HALFORD QUEK NGEE MENG

Note:
1. Settlement along similar lines have been reached between the Dutch Government and the survivors of the Indonesia Rawagede massacre that took place in Indonesia on 9 December 1947 and between the British Government and those who survived torture in internment camps in Kenya during the Mau Mau rebellion of 1952 to 1960. There are many other precedents, including the 15 June 2010 apology for Bloody Sunday which was followed earlier this year with compensation offered to the affected families
2. UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech can be found via https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/david-cameron-with-the-prime-minister-of-malaysia

Reschedule of Event | 时间更改通知书

Invitation Card (EN) Change time
Reschedule of the Event:
Date: 29 October 2013 (Tuesday)
Time: 2 pm
Venue:Level 1, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, No. 1, Jalan Maharajalela, 50150 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 03-27103818 ext. 142 (Mr Chin), Fax: 03-27103820
Email:batangkalimassacre@gmail.com

 

Invitation Card (ch) Change time
更改时间通知:
“筹建峇冬加里惨案纪念公园面子书专页”推介礼

有关10月29日的“筹建峇冬加里惨案纪念公园”面子书的推介礼,原订于上午10时的流程,现已改成 下午2时正开始。日期与地点不变如下,敬请踊跃出席。

日期 : 2013年10月29日(星期二)
时间 : 下午2时正
地点 : 吉隆坡暨雪兰莪中华大会堂
1st Floor, The Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia
No 1, Jalan Maharajalela, 50150 Kuala Lumpur.

敬望复函。若有任何疑问,敬请联络Mr Ching(电话:017-5727646)。

Postcards to UK seeking apology over Batang Kali massacre

Updated: June 19, 2013 16:05 (MYT)
 Bernama | Updated: June 19, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 10,000 postcards signed by Malaysians wanting the British Government to make an official apology on the unlawful killing of 24 villagers in Batang Kali in 1948 by British soldiers, were handed over to the British High Commission here today.

Britain’s High Commissioner to Malaysia Simon Featherstone received the postcards from Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) chairman Tan Yew Sing and Action Committee Condemning Batang Kali Massacre coordinator Quek Ngee Meng.

The postcard project is a joint effort between the two non-governmental organisations which kicked of last December and is aimed at raising awareness among Malaysians on the British Government’s position on this issue, and had invited Malaysians to express their concern through the signature campaign.

The Batang Kali massacre took place on Dec 12, 1948 during British military operations against communist terrorists after the end of World War II, and it was alleged that the 7th Platoon of G Company, 2nd Scots Guards, had surrounded a rubber estate at Sungai Rimoh and shot dead 24 villagers before setting fire to the village.

In January 2009, the British Foreign Office rejected a call for an inquiry but three months later, it was reported that the government was re-considering the decision.

In September 2012, the London High Court upheld the British government’s decision not to hold a public inquiry into the killing of the 24 Batang Kali civilians more than 60 years ago.

Speaking to reporters later, Tan said Featherstone had expressed his sympathy over the Batang Kali massacre, and promised to convey Malaysians’ concern to his government.

“We (committee members) were impressed by his (Featherstone) effort and we are serious and very persistent on this issue because justice needs to be upheld for the future and good relationship of the two countries to move forward.

“We hope the British Government will close this chapter by giving an official apology, and compensation  to the families, and they must be prepared to discuss and settled the matter out of court,” he said.

Meanwhile, one of the victims’ family member, Lim Kok, said the apology would at least help to ease the misery that he felt until now when his father, Lim Tian Swee was slaughtered in the incident.

“I really hope the British Goverment will give us a sincere apology on this matter and some compensation for all the suffering that we have gone through,” he said.

Press Coverage 更多报道:

Batang Kali massacre: 10,000 cards to British High  (Malaysiakini)

Relatives want Batang Kali memorial (The Star Online )

Batang Kali Massacre: 10000 Postcards Handed Over To British High … (Bernama)

UK urged to accept responsibility for 1948 Batang Kali massacre in Malaya (The Guardian )

Families, action groups submit petition for Britain’s apology over 1948 massacre (Global Times )

Postcards to UK seeking apology over Batang Kali massacre(Bernama)

Batang Kali massacre: 10,000 postcards handed over to British High Commission(The Borneo Post)

10,000 postcards demanding apology(Free Malaysia Today)

Families, action groups submit petition for Britain’s apology over 1948 massacre(Chinadaily)

追讨英军屠杀罪工委会 呈万张签名卡促英道歉(南洋网2013-06-19)

峇冬加里大屠杀 英国受促勇於认错(东方日报)

追討英軍屠殺罪行工委會‧呈1萬簽名卡促英道歉(星洲日报)

峇冬加里惨案 万张明信片交专员署 促英政府道歉(NTV 7)

NTV 7 : 峇冬加里惨案 万张明信片交专员署 促英政府道歉

BKM Submission Cards

记者黄聪涵:“来到2013年,峇冬加里屠杀案发生已经将近65周年,但家属至今还是没有等到英国政府一句道歉。为此,家属和追讨英军屠杀罪行工委会今天再次来到英国最高专员署请愿,递交上万张明信片,要求英国政府给一个明确答复。”

共10名惨案罹难者家属及工委会等组织代表进入最高专员署并获得英国驻马最高专员石羽亲自接见。会面历时约 1个小时。

大马行动方略联盟主席陈友信:“我们总的认为大使的态度是友善的,是带着同情 来看待这个问题的。我们告诉他这件事情,它不只是华人的课题,它是马来西亚人的课题,包含了我们的马来同胞、印度同胞,而且我们是非常严重看待这个问题。 我们觉得假如不能将以前不正义的事纠正过来,那么怎么能确保未来会有正义呢?他说他会把我们的看法,转达给他的上司,会让英国政府知道。”

英国驻马最高专员署较后发文告表示,对60多年前峇冬加里的24名村民被杀事件感到深刻遗憾,也对家属和幸存者的损失和痛苦表示同情。

不过,由于家属还在通过法律途径追讨权益,而案件也在 审理当中,因此最高专员署不适合进一步评论。

峇冬加里惨案罹难者家属张观英:“峇冬加里那边很好很平安的。我爸爸在那边割 树胶,割树胶给钱出粮后买米。做么一下子打死24人?我的爸爸被打死,那个地方被烧掉,我们什么都没有了,没有家什么都没有,几乎去乞讨,每天乞一些,1 天2天没有的吃,我的妈妈怎么好,一个一个孩子都送人,我的家散了。”

家属在去年4月趁英国首相卡梅伦到访大马时,已经呈交第一份峇冬加里惨案备忘录。

最新备忘录中,家属提出,英国政府本月初 既然愿意为殖民时期镇压和虐待肯尼亚 茅茅族人民认错和赔偿2千万英镑损失,就应该同等对待峇冬加里惨案死者家属。

备忘录也要求英国政府接受英国法庭所总结的惨案案情及向家属做出毫无保留的官方道歉。

- See more at: http://www.ntv7.com.my/mandarin7/local-ch/_1371557992.html#sthash.B3SIDIGy.dpuf

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