Settle Massacre Case, Britain Told

Source: The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The British government has been ordered by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to seek an amicable settlement over the Batang Kali massacre, in which its soldiers killed 24 innocent villagers on Dec 11 and 12, 1948.

It was also told to submit a written explanation on the merits of the massacre and state its position for a friendly settlement by Feb 7, said MCA vice-president Datuk Dr Hou Kok Chung.

The ECHR made the order recently after conducting a preliminary examination of the complaint filed by the victims’ families that London had violated Article 2 of the Euro­pean Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to life, by endorsing the massacre.

Britain has been a signatory to the European Convention since 1953, when Malaya was still its colony and its residents were considered subjects under British rule.

“The descendants of the victims have for years asked the British government for an apology, compensation and construction of a memorial, but all these have been ignored.

“So, they turned to the European Court. We hope the British government and the families can reach an out-of-court settlement,” said Hou yesterday at a press conference attended by the victims’ families and their lawyer Quek Ngee Meng.

Hou said the massacre, in which British courts had held their government responsible for the killings and ruled that the victims were not linked to communist insurgents, was “an issue too big to be ignored”.

“Though many years have passed, justice must be done and the inhumane killings must be recorded. There is a need for governments to learn from history. Let history educate people.

“During the Emergency in 1948, a lot of Chinese suffered and lived in fear,” said Hou.

The British declared emergency rule on June 18, 1948, after three estate managers were murdered in Perak by the Malayan Communist Party (MCP), an outgrowth of the anti-Japanese guerrilla movement which later turned anti-colonial.

During the 1948-60 emergency rule, Chinese were rounded up into “new villages” as they were suspected of being sympathetic to MCP.

On Dec 11, 1948, British troops entered the plantation village of Batang Kali, Selangor, and questioned the rubber tappers about the MCP but to no avail.

The next day, they loaded the women and children on a military truck and shot dead 23 men, after killing one the day before.

This massacre was claimed by the British as the “biggest success” since the emergency began, and its official parliamentary record in 1949 described the killings as “justified”.

But in 1970, the episode was given a twist when several soldiers involved in the operation told British media of their guilt over shooting innocent civilians.

In July 1993, survivors of the massacre petitioned for justice after the British Broadcasting Corporation did an independent documentary on the saga.

The survivors took their battle to the British government and later to the British courts with the help of international human rights groups.

Now their descendants are continuing the struggle for justice, this time with the help of MCA.

听证会申请被驳回,英高庭揭63年欺诈

英国高庭王座法院主席(Queens Bench Division)约翰。汤姆斯爵士(Sir John Thomas)与特里西高庭法官(Mr Justice Treacy)今天对于1948年英军屠杀24名手无寸铁的峇冬加里村民所提出的司法审核一案进行判决。高庭裁决:纵然欧洲人权法院与英国法律互相存有矛 盾之处,但英国政府并没有法定义务为死者家属进行听证会。

Image这 份共有176段的判词以抽丝剥茧的方式对现有的文件证据给予分 析,并总结到英部长们给予国会的官方说词“不能再被维持”。此外,高庭也坚决地拒绝英国部长们企图将屠杀案的法律责任推卸于雪兰莪苏丹的说法:“现有争议 的议题是苏格兰卫队射杀平民的举动,在一般的原则底下,军队理事会还是得为他们所给予的射杀命令负上责任。”

 

该判词也相 继 地指出当时所涉及的射杀行动,“虽然过了63年,但是并没有证据可以驳斥峇冬加里所发生的10项主要案情。”这些案情包括了手无寸铁的峇冬加里男村民被英 军以模拟处决恐吓;妇孺与小孩被仅有的罗里载走后,困锁男村民的村屋被解锁后,“所有23名男村民在瞬间被英军枪毙。”

 

除 此之外,高庭也重新审阅紧随男村民走出村屋直到被枪杀的英军队员的证据,其中5未英军承认屠杀,证佐了其他目击证人的供词。判词也指出:“确实有证据显示 24名峇冬加里平民是被处决”。高庭对于1970年英警方停止调查后,而英政府又决定不进行任何听证会的证据,表示“难以自圆其说”。

 

接着,在1993年进行另一个调查时:“英政府相关部门决定拖延任何听证诉求,以及不与大马皇家警察进行任何配合行动”。

 

有鉴于此,死者家属们欲敦促英国部长们接受法庭所斟查出的事实、对屠杀案即不完整的调查负起全责、承认国会已被误导以及向死者家属作出道歉。倘若部长们没有以实际行动结束此案的不公之处,死者家属将针对高庭的裁决作出上诉。

 

《追 讨英军屠杀罪行工委会》义务律师郭义民表示:“既然高庭已清楚的表示英政府必须为屠杀案负责,工委会要求英政府承认无辜射杀村民以及负上法律责任,向那些 被杀害的死者家属作出道歉。也惟有如此,才能显示出卡梅伦联合政府以荣誉的方式尊重法官的判词。倘若英政府选择冷漠的处理死者家属的诉求,两国的良好关系 肯定会受到影响。”

 

死者家属的英国代表律师约翰。哈尔佛(John Halford )指出:“仍生还的峇冬加里村民在63年前已开始要求英国政府当局解释屠杀的来龙去脉以及承认他们的错误。虽然没有任何的正面回应,但英国国会却被告知他 们只是采取适当的步骤阻止嫌犯(共产党份子 / 强盗 / 共产党支持者)逃跑。这项说法在半世纪后遭受到重重的阻碍及干扰,加上两个被提前终止的调查行动而被合理化。但是依据这判词显示,部长们并不能隐瞒事实的 真相。随着高庭的裁决,许多可怕的真相已被揭露,也正因如此英政府必须为它们负上法律责任。如果部长们拥有道德良知,他们理应立即作出道歉和解释;反之, 如果部长们欠缺了这份良知,死者家属们将通过上诉庭寻求听证会的设立,以完成高庭已开始的工作”。

 

此案起诉者之一的林国 表 示,他父亲林天水乃被英军成员斩首,他指出随着高庭的裁决,英国政府必须为他父亲的屠杀负责:“虽然高庭以技术性理由判决英政府不需进行任何听证会,但事 实上苏格兰卫队确实射杀了那些无辜的村民,包括我父亲在内。事实的真相正逼使英政府对失去父亲的我们作出一个诚意的道歉。既然英政府已对“血腥星期日”屠 杀事件以及荷兰政府也对1947年印尼拉瓦葛地(Rawagede)屠杀案负责和道歉,为何这次英部长们却不能?”

 

张 观英 的父亲,张文也是在这起屠杀案中无辜被射杀,她指出:“法庭的判决令我感到喜忧参半。令我感到较为安慰的是长年以来,诬陷我父亲为共产党份子的说法,在某 种程度上已被法庭否定。但是,令我感到失望的是法庭未能 如我所愿的指示英政府展开听证会。这起屠杀案还存有许多疑惑的事项,尤其是英政府须对屠杀负责,却没有像我们道歉和赔偿。这是不对与不公平的。”

BFM Radio Interview : Evening Edition Podcasts

http://podcast.bfm.my/podcast/e?file=assets/files/daily_show/2012-06-01_batangkalimassacre.mp3&t=TheBatangKaliMassacre

Most of us have vague memories of the Batang Kali massacre – but for the family members of those killed in the massacre, it is a lifelong mission to clear their family members’ names. Today our guests will tell us the full story of exactly what they are trying to find out about the incident that happened even before the formation of Malaysia.

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.

Soldiers confessed to Batang Kali bloodbath, UK court told

KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 — Despite British soldiers admitting to unlawfully killing 24 unarmed Batang Kali villagers, a change in government ensured the truth behind the massacre remained buried for nearly half a century, a UK high court heard yesterday.

For the first time, lawyers disclosed cautioned statements given to the police from six British troopers that corroborated accounts that 16 soldiers from the 2nd Scots Guards had shot and killed 24 villagers in what is now called the 1948 Batang Kali massacre.

“The (villagers) were going to be shot and we could fall in or fall out,” Alan Tuppen, one of the Scots Guards, was quoted by The Guardian as having told British police during a 1970 investigation ordered by the then Labour government.

“The bandits were then shot but I’m sorry I must tell you the truth, they were not running away,” George Kydd, another Scots Guard, was reported by the UK daily to have said in his 1970 statement.

Kydd added: “There was an inquiry later on and I’ve got to go along with this, we were told before going in to tell the same story, that is that the bandits were running away when they were shot… I don’t remember who told us to tell this story but it was a member of the army.”

The prominent paper reported that the Labour government-mooted inquiry was cancelled in June 1970 after the Conservatives won the general election, which led to a 42-year cover-up.

Detective Chief Superintendent Frank Williams, who led the British police probe, had noted that the soldiers’ statements contradicted the government’s official stand — that the investigation was called off due to insufficient proof.

“At the outset this matter was politically flavoured and it is patently clear that the decision to terminate enquiries in the middle of the investigation was due to a political change of view when the new Conservative government came into office after the general election,” the paper cited William’s report as having said.

The Guardian reported the judicial review hearing will continue but judgment is expected to be reserved.

The UK’s Ministry of Defence and Foreign Office maintain that it is too late for lessons to be learned from any inquiry and that most of the witnesses are no longer alive, the paper reported.

The Batang Kali massacre took place on December 12, 1948 during British military operations against the communists in the post-World War II Malayan Emergency.

British troops surrounded a rubber estate in Sungai Rimoh, Batang Kali, and shot dead 24 villagers before setting fire to the village.

After 64 years, three surviving septuagenarian family members of those killed have finally got their wish for the first complete investigation of the alleged atrocity.

The three who went to the UK for the hearing — Lim Ah Yin, 76, Loh Ah Choi, 71, and Chong Koon Ying, 73 — are not trying to seek compensation or court charges of the soldiers who had executed the villagers.

They want a judicial review of the British government’s 1970 decision to not conduct a public inquiry.

The trio are represented in the UK court by lawyer Michael Fordham.

 

from : http://www.themalaysianinsider.com

Families of Batang Kali victims get day in UK court after 64 years

By Ida Lim
May 08, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — Sixty-four years after 16 men from G Company of the 2nd Scots Guards shot and killed 24 villagers in what is now called the 1948 Batang Kali massacre, three surviving septuagenarian family members of those killed will sit in a London High Court today to ask for the first complete investigation of the alleged atrocity.

The three who went to the UK for the hearing – Lim Ah Yin, 76, Loh Ah Choi, 71, and Chong Koon Ying, 73 – are not trying to seek compensation or court charges of the soldiers who had executed the villagers.

They want a judicial review of the British government’s 1970 decision to not conduct a public inquiry.

“I hope the British government will give me fairness – I would like an apology for what happened,” Lim was quoted as saying by the UK daily The Independent.

“Even as I recall today what happened, I still feel angry. There was no reason for those men to be killed,” Lim, who was 11 at the time of the killings, said.

“My father was innocent and yet he was detained… and he was shot. We were being driven away when I heard shots. At the same time the village was being burnt,” she was also reported as saying.

She added, “A week later we were allowed to return to collect the bodies. The smell was terrible, there were maggots. We found my father, his face was swollen and he had been shot in the chest.”

Loh was 11 when his uncle was killed, while Chong was nine when her father was executed.

New evidence of the Batang Kali killings will be brought up in the UK High Court during the two-day long hearing, the UK newspaper reported.

The review will examine whether the British Secretaries of State for Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office acted lawfully when they refused last November to hold a public inquiry into both the killings and their cover-up, and to make any form of reparation to the victims’ families.

The victims’ families have long been seeking a proper explanation, apology and reparation for the killings.

The Batang Kali massacre took place on December 12, 1948 during British military operations against the communists in the post- World War II Malayan Emergency.

British troops surrounded a rubber estate in Sungai Rimoh, Batang Kali, and shot dead 24 villagers before setting fire to the village.

Former British Defence Secretary Denis Healey had instructed Scotland Yard to set up a special task team to investigate the matter. However, the incoming Conservative government chose to drop the investigation in 1970 due to an ostensible lack of evidence.

The British government’s official version of the Batang Kali massacre is that the unarmed villagers had been shot while they were trying to escape.

Secret documents recently revealed that Britain introduced new rules empowering its troops to use “lethal force” in Malaysia weeks after the massacre of 24 villagers in Batang Kali, Selangor in 1948.

Campaigners for the families of the massacre victims claim that secret Foreign Office papers obtained reveal that the emergency law, which was approved by Sir Alec Newboult, chief secretary of what was then Malaya, immunised “those involved in the killings”.

They were quoted by UK newspaper The Scotsman as saying the secret papers were introduced on January 20, 1949, less than a month after the massacre, which allowed troops to use “lethal weapons” with the regulation including the power to cover previous incidents.

“This law was carefully crafted to immunise those involved in the killings from the legal consequences of their actions.

“It was an attempt to use the statute book to excuse and legitimise an atrocity,” John Halford, the solicitor for the victims’ families was quoted by The Scotsman as saying.

“It was a massacre of 24 unarmed people who weren’t in any sense combatants, weren’t offering any kind of threat to the British troops who killed them,” Halford was quoted as saying by the UK newspaper The Guardian today.

Halford said, “The truth is that these people were killed ruthlessly…by British troops, probably in reprisal for things that had happened earlier on in the Malayan emergency, even though those killed weren’t responsible in any way for that.”

“What followed was a cover-up that has lasted the following 60 years, where the British government has denied that anything untoward happened at all.”

Halford added that “officials…have conspired to maintain the official account and suppress that very basic truth that these killings were unlawful and could never be justified.”

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokeswoman told The Guardian that  “this event happened over 60 years ago. Accounts of what happened conflict and virtually all the witnesses are dead.”

“In these circumstances it is very unlikely that a public inquiry could come up with recommendations which would help to prevent any recurrence,” she added.

“要英政府還公道” · 3受害者家屬抵倫敦出席審訊

Created 05/09/2012 – 10:01

(英國‧倫敦8日訊)事發64年後,1948年峇冬加里大屠殺3名受害者的家屬終於抵達英國倫敦,出席要求英國高庭針對這個殘暴事件展開首次完整調查的聆審。

這三人是林亞英(76歲)、羅亞材(71歲)和張觀英(73歲),他們已經抵達倫敦出席法庭的審訊。

要求對聽證會被拒司法檢討

林亞英在接受英國《獨立報》的訪問時強調,他們不是為了索賠或要求起訴涉案的士兵,他們是要求針對英國政府在1970年拒絕舉行聽證會的決定做出司法檢討。

“我們要求一個由法官領導的聽證會,以調查此事件,及查證英國政府是否試圖掩蓋真相。”

“我希望英國政府可以給我一個公道。我要當局向我道歉。”

她要英國政府承認,她和許多人在英殖民時期遭到“冷血大屠殺”的逼害。

難忘父屍體滿身彈孔

事發當時林亞英只有11歲,她回憶說,她被趕出峇冬加里村莊,聽到英軍步鎗回聲響不停,直到一星期後,她和其母親才被允許回到原地替父親收屍,也忘不了父親滿身鎗孔的屍體。

她指當時蘇格蘭第二衛兵隊的16名衛兵,在離開峇冬加里橡膠園之前,屠殺了所有膠工,包括她的父親在內。

“即使現在回想起來,我還是很生氣,英軍沒有理由屠殺這些男人,我父親是無辜的,他被扣留,期間不能洗刷、挨餓,過後被鎗殺。我們在路途中聽到鎗聲,當時整個村莊也被燒毀。”

她補充,一個星期後,她們回去收屍時,屍首已經發臭腐爛還有蛆蟲。

“我找到父親的屍體,他的臉已經浮腫,肩膀中鎗,我希望英國政府可以給我一個公道。我要當局向我道歉。”

她說,就如她的證人羅亞材,案發時他的叔叔是第一個被殺害的人,至於張觀英(譯音,73歲),當他父親被殺害時,她只有9歲。

英堅持起訴者缺乏證據

這個司法檢討是英國國防部與外交部長期以來拒絕重新調查的焦點。英國政府堅持起訴者缺乏證據,來推翻官方的版本,但是對於林亞英而言,這種頑固是一種污辱。

該報指出,高院將在兩天的審訊中提出新證據。

外國與共和聯邦辦公室發言人說,這起事件已發生超過60年,案件充滿矛盾,而且所有證人都已過世。

在這種情況下,公共聽證會很難取得建議,以避免這類事件重演。

“這些死者家屬選擇通過法庭挑戰司法,不是一個很恰當的做法。”