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.

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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。”

Press Statement released on 13 Dec 2009

Press Statement (13 December 2009)

The Action Committee condemning the Batang Kali Massacre is disappointed with the British Government for putting unreasonable and unfair hurdles for the surviving families in their quest for justice by withholding or releasing partial documents that formed the basis of the “minded to refuse a public enquiry” decision.

The Co-ordinator for the Committee, Quek Ngee Meng, expressed his utmost dissatisfaction at a memorial service which was held in front of the British High Commission to commemorate those victims who were killed at Batang Kali 61 years ago. Ruling and opposition leaders, leaders of the Chinese community, NGO representatives, and surviving family members attended the memorial service.

Quek said that “When the British Ministry of Defence and Foreign and Commonwealth Office communicated their provisional refusal on 21 August, we were invited to make further representations before a final decision was made by them. Since then our lawyers have been seeking the documents on which the provisional decision was based, most of which are not in they public domain, so they can make those representations on an informed basis. That is only fair and reasonable. The response has been a combination of half hearted or partial disclosure along with delay and excuses for not disclosing the remainder. We have been severely handicapped by various hurdles which were imposed by the British government.” Continue reading

郭義民:當年烏魯音居民冤死‧英國圖阻工委會索屠殺要件

新聞來源: 星洲日報, 2009年12月13日

(吉隆坡)追討英軍屠殺罪行工委會總協調郭義民指出,英國政府企圖拖延及不合理的阻擾死者家屬的律師,索取有關當年英軍屠殺烏魯音居民的重要文件。

他說,英國國防部及外交部在今年8月21日來函通知他們,初步拒絕成立公共調查委員會的決定後,但邀請他們在英政府未作最終決定前提呈進一步的陳述。

“當我們的律師要求索取影響初步決定的相關而尚未揭秘的文件時,英政府卻百般阻擾。”

追討英軍屠殺罪行工委會週六(12月12日)在英國駐馬最高專員署前舉辦一項悼念61年前的峇冬加里大屠殺的追思儀式,死者家屬手持受害者人頭照及黃色鮮花,高舉控訴英軍屠殺平民罪行布條。

共有約50人出席這項追思儀式,當中包括有朝野政黨領袖、華團與華青團領袖、死者家屬,還有《星洲日報》總主筆羅正文。

郭義民透露,英政府先前要求工委會要員、律師及已年邁的證人譚蓉保密承諾,但英國國防部卻只提供極少部份的檔案資料,而英國外交部更是食言,至今仍未得到它們的資料。

“至於極其關鍵的1970威廉報告書,死者家屬律師只被允許親自到英國警察總部翻閱檔案報告但不得影印任何文件。”

這些尚未揭秘的文件包括,中途被迫終止調查的1970年威廉偵緝總警司的報告、英國國防部與外交部的檔案資料,以及1993年英檢控署在英廣播電台(BBC)播放冷血屠殺紀錄片後的調查報告。

對尋求真相努力感擔憂

郭義民指出,他們對尋求真相的努力感到擔憂,因相關證人都因年邁相繼離世,若英政府繼續玩弄拖延伎倆,將導致正義難以伸張。

Batang Kali group to soldier on

UALA LUMPUR: The Action Committee Con-demning the Batang Kali Massacre will not give up their fight despite a refusal by the British government to hold an inquiry into the 1948 massacre.

Datuk Dominic Puthucheary

Datuk Dominic Puthucheary

Lawyer Datuk Dominic Puthucheary said the committee was determined to fight Britain’s provisional decision to reject any probe into the killings.

“We will pursue without doubt until justice is done. It must be resolved by establishing the truth. It cannot continue with all these uncertainties and anxiety on how and why it happened.

“Until that is cleared, we are determined and we are going to continue the fight,” he told a press conference yesterday.

The lawyers representing the committee met with British government officials in July and Britain replied in a letter this month that it is “minded not to establish a public inquiry and not to take any other investigation in to those events”. Continue reading

郭義民:拒開大屠殺聽證會‧英典當社會公義

Press Conference on 29/8/2009

Press Conference on 29/8/2009

(吉隆坡)追討英軍屠殺罪行工委會對於英國政府初步拒絕設立調查委員會或聽證會,處理英軍61年前在峇冬加里屠殺24名烏魯音村民慘案感到失望。

工委會義務律師之一郭義民在今日(週六,8月29日)早上的匯報會上說,英政府的這項決定是在典當社會公義。

他指出,這事件已經發生61年,英政府仍然在拖延處理。

“英政府並無合作的誠意,一直以來,所有的合作只是我方單向的配合。”

他也批評英政府拒絕召開聽證會的理由不合情理法。

追究不願承擔犯錯責任

他並說,工委會追討道歉賠償和設立紀念塔,並非要英政府負起犯罪的刑事責任,而是追究英政府不願承擔犯錯的責任。

“英政府的拒絕理由,沒有從人類普世價值觀出發,我方基於分清是非及伸張正義的大前提下,堅持要向英政府討回公道,以維護大馬人的尊嚴。” Continue reading

羅正文‧我站在譚蓉老太太的面前

譚蓉老太太是誰?她是61年前峇冬加里血案的倖存者。事情就從“追討英軍屠殺罪行工委會”早前向共和聯邦國會協會及英國駐馬最高專員署提出訴求說起吧。工委會要求英政府設立紀念碑,並對死難者家屬作合理的賠償,否則將入稟法庭,迄今為止英國未就如何採取適當善後措施作出回應。

峇冬加里屠殺事件誠然是一個難忘的創痛,但背景極為錯綜複雜,絕非單一因素所能解釋。因此,提呈訴求只能算是此一史事研究的開始,而非蓋棺之論。但至少有關屠殺事件的擴大報導,使讀者瞭解到悲劇的造成,原因非止一端,各方均應作深切的反省,使歷史不再重演,使創痛得以止息。 Continue reading