My friends consoled me and sat me down. Some of them suggested I remove my body-armour—people had already gone. If we were to go then, we would have to be running on our own, so I stayed sitting.
Yasir: How many of you stayed?
P: There were about 10 guys. There were also two other guys, X & Y.
Yasir: So, you were the only one who cried, were you?
P: I think at that moment my emotions…I could picture what would have happened on the other side, people suffering so many injuries. Some people are assigned to work under the Platoon Commander…I was one of them, a team leader…The thing was, all my guys had gone to the other side and I couldn’t. This also made me feel some strange emotions.
Yasir: The decision to go to the other side [Artificial Beach], how was that taken? As a team leader, you must know. Whose command was it?
P: It wasn’t any particular person’s command. Like I said, these are things that happened over there…from what was described by people here, or from information on the radio. From the atmosphere over there before we returned, we could tell what would happen. I could almost see. That’s why, when they returned and said these things were happening there, we could imagine how bad things would be. We pictured it all.
An individual’s responsibility…According to Police office, no one believes a particular person has to issue a command—each must fulfil their own responsibilities. Because of this, one of the guys stood up. I recall, he said, We can’t stay here like this.
Yes, we can’t stay here like this, each of the individual guys began to agree immediately. We must fulfil our legal responsibility.
We were not under anyone’s supervision then. We were free, and nothing was happening where we were. We sat quietly like we do every day after protests. We just came to the realisation we must go [to the Artificial Beach], it wasn’t because anyone commanded us. Each decided on their own.
Fawaz: On 6 February when you went to the Artificial Beach first, you were at Henveiru Stadium, weren’t you? Did you make any plans whatsoever then to beat up MDP protesters?
P: When we first arrived, we didn’t even know a second group [MDP] would be there. It’s something we do daily—what we do is, if for example, if a protest is at the Artificial Beach—we assemble and wait at the closest location. We were at the Henveiru Stadium, we didn’t know what plans had been laid, or that there was a second group. But later, when it was getting noisier, we could hear on talkies and things and on loudspeakers some people shouting loudly. Some people thought about the sounds and went over to check them out. When we found the place looking not so good, some of us went and parted the two sides and stayed there. More people came then, and kept the two sides separate.
Fawaz: Then. Some police are saying you were asked to enter the Hussein Adam building. Do you have any knowledge of this?
P: To go in?
Fawaz: To go in.
P: No, I wasn’t told. I was sitting by the buru. I was sitting away from them. I had been sat down at some distance.
Fawaz: Why were you isolated?