Gerakan Media Merdeka (Geramm) condemns in the strongest terms the harassment by Umno leaders and supporters of two Malaysiakini intern journalists yesterday afternoon.
It is even more concerning that the incident involved a male politician against a female journalist who had reportedly urged that her personal space be respected, only to be met with expletives.
According to a Malaysiakini report, the two interns were assigned to cover a Sembang Santai session featuring former Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in Petaling Jaya. The session later witnessed a fracas involving Umno leaders and supporters against a group of Universiti Malaya student protesters.
The two Umno leaders reportedly hurled expletives and physically harassed the two Malaysiakini interns due to unhappiness over a report on the fracas.
Geramm condemns the unacceptable physical and verbal assault against journalists on duty. It is understood that a police report has been lodged over the incident, and Geramm urges the authorities to swiftly investigate the incident.
We also stress that all journalists regardless of media organisations have a right to carry out our duties without being harassed or, worse, attacked by any irresponsible parties.
We once again reiterate our support for the establishment of a Malaysian Media Council as a platform to resolve any disputes with any media agencies without the need to resort to violence.
We are in solidarity.