峇冬加里屠杀事件英高庭下月裁决 是否设公听会调查

 

峇冬加里屠杀事件英高庭下月裁决 是否设公听会调查.

21 May 2012, 08:17pm BY ntv7

英国政府是否会设立公共听证会调查1948年英军被指在雪兰莪峇冬加里屠杀24名胶工的事件,英国高等法院预料将会在今年7月尾或8月初才会做出裁 决。此外,由于英国国防大臣也入禀陈词,阐明当时的雪州苏丹该为屠杀事件负起责任,但,英国高庭却不信服有关理据。为此,高庭谕令英国国防部,入禀一份陈 词,以证明雪州苏丹才是应该负责任的一方。

追讨英军屠杀罪行工委会总协调郭义民周一召开记者会表示,两名承审这起司法检讨案件的英国高庭法官,谕令英国国防部最迟在英国时间星期一提呈陈词。 就算败诉,他们也会继续上诉至联邦法院。此外,郭义民也表示,万一法庭谕令英国政府开设公听会,到时候,就可以开棺验尸,厘清胶工的死因。

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峇冬加里惨案家属赴英国平反冤案 促英方道歉还公道

9 May 2012, 06:52pm BY ROBIN KOH

 

 

  峇冬加里惨案家属赴英国平反冤案 促英方道歉还公道.

 

 

白发苍苍,年届七十的原告罗亚材和两名目击证人林亚英和张观英,在追讨英军屠杀峇冬加里平民工委会律师郭义民的陪同下,远赴英国伦敦最高法院,出席一连两天的峇冬加里屠杀案审讯,希望通过诉讼,平反冤情。

虽然64年过去了,但对家属而言,儿时经历的最血腥残酷的那一天,依然历历在目,同时也在他们身上烙下一辈子的伤痛。

受害者孩子张观英:“我爸爸只是在那里工作,只是在胶园讨生活而已!为什么他被枪杀?我不知道为何他被枪杀。他们说,谁家的男人死在那里,赶快去认领。他们用两辆罗里载着尸体再将遗体放在木板上。

这是英国政府64年来第一次面对受害者家属。家属希望英国政府展开调查,还原历史真相,归还死者一个公道。

工委会代表律师约翰哈尔福:“这次的杀戮在什么基础上,称之合法?英军有什么权力杀害平民。我当事人的立场是他们不要复仇或惩罚,不要士兵被控。他们只要英国政府为英军的所作所为负起责任。

工委会要求英国政府向殉难者家属公开道歉,并给予他们合理的赔偿。

如果英国政府败诉,英国需要设立听证会或作出赔偿。无论如何,就算败诉,工委会也会上诉到底。

 

 

峇冬加里屠杀案预计8月头下判 英国正式开庭审讯

光华日报电子新闻 5月22日

 

(吉隆坡21日讯)在追讨英军屠杀罪行工委会努力不懈的精神下,终于成功于本月8日至9日在英国伦敦正式开庭审讯“峇冬加里屠杀案”,并凯旋归来,根据程序英国法庭必须在6至8个星期后才下判,预计在7月尾或8月头才公布下判结果。

该 工委会义务律师郭义民表示,除了要求英国政府还大马和死者家属一个道歉和赔偿之外,同时也要求英国政府成立一个听证会,厘清真相。“我们手上已持有齐全的 射杀资料证据文件,目前只缺乏开棺验尸的鉴定证据,若上诉失败,会把此案上诉至英国上诉庭,或直接上诉到英国最高法庭。”

他也指出,审讯时 英国政府的代表律师在陈词上说,因事发时正处于戒严时期,英军是隶属雪州苏丹管理权限,因此认为我国雪州苏丹应为此事负责,英国法官对此陈词感不信服,要 求英国政府再呈交更多的证据,于今日(21日)为截止日期,而原告代表必须在5天之内回复。他是在于伦敦审讯归国后,召开英国高庭峇冬加里屠杀惨案审讯汇 报会向媒体如是表示。

此外,郭义民也指出,代表死者家属上庭的4位英国律师是弗韩女皇律师、弗里德曼、道格拉斯教授以及哈尔佛律师,他们在 开庭前提呈一份书状陈词驳诉英国政府的决定,共有9个论点,当中包括英国国防部与外交部部长应该坦承英国政府向国会报告时所提出的“峇冬加里屠杀案的射杀 是无可避免与合法”这个说法,根本站不住脚、此案实属不合法射杀,可是官方说法从来未予以承认、1948年的所谓“调查”以及随后所作出的宣布,其目的基 本上是试图掩盖事实、1970年与1994年的2次调查都在非法干预之下被逼中断、英国政府从未进行独立鉴定与评估,或予以重视的调查决心、英国政府不断 试图以不同的方法阻碍调查和掩盖真相等等。

英政府呈新證期限到‧峇冬加里案料7月判決

Created 05/22/2012 – 14:03

 

(馬來西亞)由於倫敦法庭不滿意英政府指“峇冬加里大屠殺”案應由雪蘭莪州蘇丹負起責任的陳詞,並諭令提呈新證據,使案件白熱化。5月21日是英政府提呈新證據期限屆滿,完成這個程序後,將會在6至8星期內(估計是7月)作出判決。

追討英軍屠殺罪行工委會總協調郭義民21日在新聞發佈會上匯報案件進展時說,案件在倫敦法庭審訊時,法官對英政府律師指“大屠殺”案應由雪州蘇丹負責的言論無法信服,並諭令提呈新證據。

他說,工委會將繼續密切關注案情的進度,並已做足應對措施,如果獲得勝訴,將會促成聽證會,然後進行最後一個步驟,即“驗屍”工作,以讓真相大白。他說,相反的,一旦敗訴,將會繼續向倫敦上訴庭及最高法院上訴。

陳凱希:英政府企圖掩飾真相

追討英軍屠殺罪行工委會發起人暨執行顧問陳凱希形容英政府在處理“峇冬加里大屠殺”案,一開始就犯錯,就像鈕扣鈕錯位,不可能把衣服擺正。他說,英政府用盡辦法,企圖掩飾真相,擺脫“大屠殺”責任,現在更令人感到憤慨的是,想把責任推給當時雪州統治者,嫁禍予蘇丹。

他說,這種做法不能令人接受,為了大馬尊嚴,有必要真正揪出真兇。他也吁請國州議員,特別是雪州代議士挺身而出,為這件“冤案”作出回應。陳凱希 說,此“大屠殺”案能在64年後爭取到在英國開審,已是一個很大的成果,法庭諭令英政府提呈更多證據,反映出要真正找到罪行的“元兇”。(馬來西亞星洲日報)

 

from:http://www.mediachinese.com/sciMCIL/node/56137

BATANG KALI MASSACRE : BRITAIN’S HIGH COURT TO REVIEW INQUIRY

NTV 7 news

BATANG KALI MASSACRE : BRITAIN’S HIGH COURT TO REVIEW INQUIRY.

8 May 2012, 06:06pm BY SYARIFAH RAHMAN

Britain’s High Court will review a government decision not to hold a formal investigation into the deaths of 24 Malaysian rubber tappers at the hands of U.K. troops in 1948.

Lawyers representing relatives of those killed in Batang Kali say the British government carried out a decades-long cover up of serious human rights abuses.

The High Court today started a two-day judicial review of the decision not to hold an official inquiry into the deaths.

The Batang Kali massacre occurred on December 12, 1948, when British troops were conducting military operations to combat the post-Second World War Communist insurgency of the Malayan Emergency.

Soldiers surrounded the rubber estate at Sungai Rimoh in Batang Kali and shot dead 24 people before setting light to the village.

During the two day judicial review, the court will be the very first to see materials from the British and Malaysian police investigations both of which were  terminated prematurely statements from the soldiers involved in the massacre; and other first-hand witness evidence.

The human face of the Batang Kali Massacre

May 15, 2012

LONDON, May 15 — “It sounded like fireworks,” Lim Ah Yin, 76, said. “As if it was Chinese New Year.”

In fact, it was the terrible sound of automatic weapons’ fire ripping apart the morning. The date was December 12, 1948 and Ah Yin was only 11 years old. She couldn’t see what was happening from her vantage point aboard a lorry surrounded by bigger children and scrambling, wailing women, but the ominous staccatos filled her ears, and followed her even as the lorry started moving, taking the women and children away from their husbands, brothers and fathers who remained on the Sungai Remok rubber estate in Batang Kali — some in sight, some mercifully out of sight. The gunfire lasted just under two minutes.

“When I heard the gun shots, I understood,” Ah Yin said. She didn’t have to wait four days later, when she followed her mother back to the village to collect her father’s body, unrecognisable except for his shirt, to know that all 24 men, young and old, were never coming back.

As the lorry left their dear ones behind, Ah Yin saw flames and smoke rise from the village, where she had lived with her family for years, working and playing alongside other families. The three kongsis — long wooden houses on stilts functioning as living quarters — and the smokehouse, everything on the plantation, would be torched to the ground. The punctured and mutilated bodies of the men would be left to rot where they had fallen, tightly clustered in separate groups where fresh-faced Scots Guards had delivered the death blows — some firing in staunch duty, some in panic, some shooting at the ground, hoping to miss.

This happened more than 60 years ago during the Malayan Emergency — a guerilla war fought between British colonial forces and the military arm of the Malayan Communist Party — and it has never been properly dignified in the annals of history for what it was: a massacre. Despite the voluntary confessions of several of the Scots Guards, corroborated by the survivors’ accounts, that the Batang Kali incident was murder committed in cold blood, the Malaysian and British governments continued to toe the official line (that the men were communist “bandits” or sympathisers trying to escape) in order to refuse repeated requests for a full public investigation.

There were two attempts in 1970 and 1993 to investigate the killings, fuelled largely by journalists and police officials in both countries. But just as they were on the cusp of completion, the investigations were aborted by their respective governments, purportedly because of insufficient evidence, a justification that could not, even then, stand in good faith. John Halford, on behalf of the survivors, said that although the exact sequence of events is disputed, “the evidence is overwhelmingly clear as to what happened.” It is hoped that the judicial review in London last week, which was the culmination of renewed calls for a public inquiry since 2008, will result in a decision that will finally give the survivors the reconciliation they seek.

On the evening of December 11, 1948, 14 Scots Guards of 7 platoon, G Company, 2nd Battalion had crept onto the Sungai Remok plantation and taken the villagers by surprise. They pointed their guns indiscriminately at men, women and children, young and old. A Chinese detective serving as an interpreter for the English troops barked commands and accusations at them. When the adults couldn’t give him the answers he sought, he asked the children if they had seen any communists.

“He was very fierce,” Ah Yin recalled. “But we were so little then. We helped our parents at work, and when we were free we would play. We didn’t know what people were what people. What did we know what communists were?”

None of the villagers were armed, and none exhibited any violence towards the British troops. Still, the soldiers were certain that they were assisting the communists. To terrorise the villagers into talking, the soldiers carried out mock executions.

“They tore my mother away from us and brought her to the stream to interrogate her and started shooting close to the side of her head. They were firing into the air, but I thought my mother had died,” Ah Yin recalled. Her mother was eight months’ pregnant. “All the English soldiers looked so young. Whether you moved or didn’t move, they pointed their guns at you.”

In fact, as Ian Ward and Norma Miraflor revealed in their detailed exposé “Slaughter and Deception at Batang Kali”, 12 of the 14 Scots Guards were in their late teens on National Service. They had been dispatched straight from the British Empire’s royal palaces to the Malayan hinterland to combat communist insurgents during the Emergency, and provided with only rudimentary training.

As such, they were ill equipped for a guerilla war. Sergeant Douglas, who was in charge of the platoon, was an inexperienced 22-year-old who had never killed a man in his life. He was to kill his first at Batang Kali, a 19-year-old named Loh Kit Lin whom the soldiers suspected of supplying durians to the communists simply because they had found a piece of paper on his person permitting him to collect the fruit. Douglas shot him in the stomach, then “turned away and was violently sick.” His second-in-command, Lance-Sergeant Hughes, had to finish the boy off with a shot to the head.

The man’s nephew, Loh Ah Choi, now 71, was seven at the time. He said: “I didn’t see it happen, but I heard it. There were three shots. My uncle was a secondary student in Kuala Lumpur, but he happened to be in Batang Kali that day to visit his grandmother.” He wasn’t even supposed to be there.

Ah Choi worked on a British estate for 10 years after the massacre when he was a teenager. “I don’t hate the British. If I did, I wouldn’t have worked for them for so long. But I hope that they will treat us right. If they don’t, I would be very disappointed,” he said, referring to the judicial review decision the survivors are currently awaiting.

That first night, the soldiers separated the men from the women and children and held them hostage in separate quarters. The Scots Guards planned to lie in wait for the lorry that would arrive in the morning, convinced as they were that it would bring food supplies for the communists. In fact, the lorry came every day, transporting additional workers and food for the resident community.

The next morning, when the villagers were herded out of the kongsi they would see Loh Kit Lin’s body lying face up on the estate road, his intestines spilling out of a gaping hole in his stomach. Soon after, the massacre started.

By their own admission, two Scots Guards decided to fall out, opting to guard the lorry instead. They had orders to shoot if any of the women and children tried to escape, but no harm came to them — at least, none physically. The indelible emotional scars would come later, when they found themselves homeless, possessing only the clothes on their backs; when, having lost the breadwinner of their family, they were reduced to begging on the streets, watching helplessly as their children died of malnutrition; when they were forced to give their little ones away, never to find them again.

“My three-year-old sister was given to another family after my father was killed. A month later, my mother gave birth to another baby and we had to give her away to an orphanage too. I reunited with my younger sister in my teenage years and we are still in touch, but I have lost my baby sister forever,” Ah Yin said.

Chong Koon Ying, 74, has a similar story. When she finally found her younger brother in later years, it saddened her to learn that he had been physically abused as a child.

The women and children were not allowed enough time to collect their belongings before leaving. “We had absolutely nothing, only the clothes we were wearing. But the people in Ulu Yam Baru were kind. They gave us food and clothes. We were so hungry,” Ah Yin recalled.

Koon Ying, who was nine years old at the time, would remember this too — the hunger. They were children; it was the visceral they remembered.

Unbeknownst at the time, one man survived the massacre. Chong Fong, then 22, had fainted and was taken for dead. “The spirits must have pushed me,” he told the BBC for the 1992 documentary “In Cold Blood”. When he came to half an hour later, he didn’t linger. “I ran for my dear life,” he’d said, and hid at his father’s coffeeshop. The authorities never breathed a word, and news of his existence wasn’t published until 1970.

Four days later, official permission was granted to recover the bodies. It took three lorry trips to transport them all to Ulu Yam Baru, where they were buried.

Ah Yin remembers the horror of it all. “Their faces, eyes and mouths were crawling with worms. Their stomachs were bulging and black. Everywhere, there were flies. My father was shot in the chest. The kepala had been beheaded and his head thrown into the river, where it was swept away and never found again. Still, he had a proper coffin. We couldn’t afford one so we used a box made of planks to bury my father. There was blood everywhere, black blood. There was a terrible smell. Why did they die like this?” The Batang Kali massacre has often been compared to the US troops’ murderous rampage at the Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai during the Vietnam War, but for one little mercy — or was it? Unlike at My Lai, the women and children at Batang Kali were spared, but they had to go on living.

The colonial government had said that the objective of the patrol had been to “obtain information, search for arms and ammunition and to detain and bring back to Kuala Kubu Baru [the Scots Guards’ headquarters] for interrogation any suspicious characters.” But if that was the case, why didn’t they use the lorry to transport the men? If the men had indeed tried to escape, why were their bodies found in tight clusters? Why did the Scots Guards confess to murder? Why did the Malayan Attorney-General at the time tell reporters 20 years later that what happened at Batang Kali was a “bona fide mistake”? Why had he lied about the fact that police, military and civil inquiries were carried out in 1949, when in fact there wasn’t any investigation until 1970? There are too many contradictions in the Batang Kali case for it to be written off, even if over six decades has passed. As Ian Ward said: “There is no statute of limitations for morality.”

The remaining survivors still remember what happened in December 1948. It is a story they have told many times, because when the world forgot them, as it often did, telling this story was the only way to keep the memories of their loved ones alive.

As journalists, we ask many questions. We want to know how they felt then, how they feel now. We want a sound bite, a quote, something profound to include in our stories. But it is simple, it is true:

“It’s painful,” Ah Yin said. “Aiyah, it’s just very painful.”

* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the correspondent.

from : http://www.themalaysianinsider.com

Batang Kali Massacre: A lesson in truth?

By Emily Ding
May 10, 2012

LONDON, MAY 10 — The UK government has suggested that the Sultan of Selangor was responsible for the actions of British soldiers in what is now known as the Batang Kali “massacre” of 24 civilian rubber plantation workers during the Malayan Emergency in 1948.

On December 11-12, 14 Scots Guards surrounded and captured the Sungai Remok rubber estate. The women and children were separated from the men, who were shot and killed in a burst of violence. Bodies were mutilated, one beheaded. The village was torched to the ground.

The official line was that the men were communists or sympathisers who were trying to escape, but other accounts have since surfaced depicting a cold-blooded mass killing without cause. Many have called it “Britain’s My Lai”, an allusion to the annihilation of the Vietnamese hamlet by US troops during the Vietnam War.

In the High Court here yesterday during the judicial review of the UK government’s continued refusal to investigate the killings, counsel for the defendants, UK Secretaries of State for Defence and Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs, declared that any claim relating to the incident at Batang Kali should have been litigated in the courts of Selangor under its laws.

“Had proceedings been brought in England against the [Sultan] of Selangor, a plea of sovereign immunity would have succeeded.”

He went further to tell the court that even if the British government had been responsible for the actions of its Scots Guards in Malaya at the time, all rights, liabilities and obligations passed to the Federation of Malaya when it became independent in 1957.

The defendants maintain that during the Emergency, Selangor was a “protected state” of the British government and therefore a “separate legal entity.” As such, the British government’s jurisdiction was limited to Selangor’s external affairs and its defence from external attack; the government had “no direct policy over its internal affairs.”

The claimants and defendants both agree that British troops were deployed to Malaya during the Emergency in aid of the civil power, not in an act of war. Deputised as police officers, these British soldiers were there to keep public order, so their powers were essentially the same as the Malayan police. What they disagree on is the capacity in which these troops were carrying out orders at the Sungai Remok estate.

Mr Justice Treacy put this question to the defendants’ counsel: “British troops in Malaya also had to defend external threats. How do you distinguish when they are operating internally and when they are operating externally?”

The defendants take the position that the Scots Guards at Batang Kali were operating internally and formed part of a local police patrol under the authority of the Sultan of Selangor; they were acting as “agents” of the Sultan. However, their counsel was unable to produce evidence to that effect.

The president of the Queen’s Bench Division, Sir John Thomas, said: “You can’t run an empire without knowing who controls the troops. There must be an answer to this.”

He added: “We are not satisfied that what you are telling us is right. I am not criticising you. I am criticising those in the Ministry of Defence and Foreign Office who must know what the answer is.”

The judicial review proceedings concluded yesterday, but further answers on this point will be dealt with in written submissions on May 19. Judgment was reserved and no date has yet been provided.

The defendants’ counsel also said that the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Office do not defend the facts of what happened in 1948 but maintain that they were entitled to refuse to hold a public inquiry “notwithstanding the seriousness of what then occurred.”

Quek (left) and Firoz are accompanying the survivors in London.

They maintain that they have exercised their discretion lawfully, taking into reasons such as the costs of conducting an inquiry, the two competing sets of facts, and the difficulty of finding out the truth due to the fact that many witnesses are now deceased and those who are still alive would be unreliable considering that more than six decades have passed.

The defendants pointed out that they have not so much been affirming the official account, as the claimants alleged, as accepting that they cannot be certain about the accuracy of other accounts.

As such, they defend their decisions not to hold a public investigation as “rational” because if they were to simply accept the claimants’ account, they would in effect be “condemning all of the soldiers as murderers without a hearing and publicly expressing the view — contrary to international comity — that acts of murder had been committed on behalf of the Ruler of Selangor and/or that the Malaysian government was now liable for acts which amounted to murder.”

Three out of four of the remaining claimants — Loh Ah Choi, 71, Lim Ah Yin, 76, and Chong Koon Ying, 74 — have travelled a long way from Malaysia to London for the judicial review. They sat in the front row before the two judges and were in attendance for the full duration of the legal proceedings despite being unable to understand English, and despite having been awake since 4am because of jet lag. They were accompanied by Quek Ngee Meng and Firoz Hussein, two Malaysia-based lawyers and co-ordinators of the Action Committee Condemning the Batang Kali Massacre.

Summing up on behalf of the claimants, Michael Fordham QC told the court: “The story simply doesn’t add up. Why was it necessary to shoot to kill, until all 24 men were dead? Why was it subsequently called a ‘mistake’?”

“Inertia,” he said, has characterised the Batang Kali case over the decades, “because there may be an inconvenient truth.”

He also suggested that if a public investigation were to be called, former Communist Party of Malaya secretary-general Chin Peng could be a potential witness to offer an insight into the nature of the “banditry” at the time.

Amidst all this, one wonders where the Malaysian government stands.

Ian Ward, a Southeast Asia war correspondent from 1962 to 1987, and Norma Miraflor point out in their book “Slaughter and Deception at Batang Kali” that the situation in Malaysia mirrors that in the UK. The political will to carry out a full investigation into the incident has been absent. 

Investigations, such as the 1970 one in Britain and the 1993 one in Malaysia, were fuelled by the police — and in Malaysia’s case, the Malaysian Chinese Association. Both investigations were eventually closed by the countries’ authorities, purportedly because of insufficient evidence.

The defendants’ counsel told the court that a public inquiry would not achieve very much because it would not serve up useful lessons to avoid the repetition of such events since the Batang Kali massacre happened in a very different time and place, with a different legal and military culture.

Fordham disagreed. “How about a lesson that the truth will out? That even with the lapse of time, something this significant won’t just go away? How about a lesson like that for everyone?”

 

from : http://www.themalaysianinsider.com