Charter 2000-Aliran condemns the reported assault on an independent journalist who was covering the 28 May protest against hikes in oil prices and electricity tariffs at the KLCC.
The journalist from the online Chinese-language news website MerdekaReview.com, Lim Hong Siang, who was also taking photos, was said to have been kicked by a policeman in a bid to force him to leave the scene.
We view this incident seriously as it constitutes an obstruction of a journalist’s duty to report. It is also, by extension, a violation of the people’s right to know.
It is the professional duty of journalists to provide honest, eyewitness coverage of events of national and political significance. We are gravely concerned that the authorities’ strong-arm tactics and intimidation may promote a culture of fear among journalists and make it hazardous for them to carry out their duties.
We therefore call upon the authorities to respect the professional duty of journalists to report the truth and to ensure that they are not harmed in any way.
Dr Mustafa Kamal Anuar and Anil Netto
Coordinators, Charter 2000-Aliran
6 June 2006