Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins our affiliate the National Union of
Journalists Malaysia (NUJ) in calling for a thorough investigation of the
attacks by police on more than twelve media personnel covering a public rally
in Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, on April 28, 2012.
According to various media
reports, more than 12 photographers and journalists from at least 13 media
outlets were intimidated, assaulted and/or detained by police while reporting
on the ‘Bersih 3.0’ public rally for electoral reform.
Victims include personnel
from Sin Chew Daily, Guang Ming Daily, The Star, Oriental News Daily,
The Sun, Malay Mail, China Press, Nanyang Business Daily, Al Jazeera, Malaysiakini, online news website Merdeka Review and AL Hijrah
Many were injured, with
some receiving injuries serious enough to require stitches and hospitalisation.
Low Boon Tat, a
photographer for The Star newspaper,
reported that he was surrounded by approximately ten uniformed police officers
while taking photos of the rally. They ordered him to delete photos from his
camera. When he refused, police knocked his camera against the wall and smashed
A female photographer for the
China Press newspaper reported that
she was knocked down by a tear gas canister fired by police to disperse
protestors. Members of the fleeing crowd stepped over her body. She was sent to
hospital to treat her injuries. Her face remains swollen and sore after the incident.
The Malaysia Chinese
Photographer Association (MCPA) has called on all media personnel in Malaysia to
wear black clothing and a yellow ribbon on May 3, World Press Freedom Day, to voice
their condemnation of the police attacks.
“The IFJ joins the NUJ in
demanding Malaysia’s Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail fully
investigate these assaults,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
“It is alarming to witness
police officers threatening and assaulting journalists who are simply engaged
in reporting legitimate news stories. The press should be able to report freely
on events in the public interest, without fear for their personal safety.
We urge Inspector-General
Tan Sri Ismail to ensure that police officers fulfil their duty to protect the
safety of media personnel in the interests of press freedom”.
IFJ urges media personnel in Malaysia to support the MCPA’s campaign on World Press Freedom Day by wearing
black clothing with a yellow ribbon to show solidarity for the campaign against
further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131
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