NUJ condemns attack, demands quick police action
Penang PERKASA Youth chief Mohd Risuan Asudin showing aggression at the anti-Lynas rally in Penang on Sunday. Risuan once presented a bulldozer to Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng in Komtar. “During the fracas where a journalist was attacked, some Malay youths (male and females) came to us reporters to point out the attackers and told us what they witnessed,” a journalist at the event said. Photo: Yeap Ban Choon
Statement by NUJ president
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) condemns an unruly group, believed to be supporters of Perkasa and UMNO, for assaulting two media members who were on duty to cover the solidarity gathering for the Himpunan Hijau in Penang on Sunday evening.
There is absolutely no reason to physically harm the journalists from local Chinese daily Kwong Wah Yit Poh, Adam Chew and Lee Hong Chun, who were struck with motorcycle helmets.
The reporters were assigned to cover the event and I am sure the public, including the group, could identify members of the press on duty.
We will not condone such act of violence and inflicting injuries on journalists and call on the police to act decisively.
The NUJ will monitor this case closely as we do not want such incident to become a trend where media workers are attacked while carrying out their public duty
Nobody can take the law into his or her own hands. As working journalists covering such social unrests, they are called to uphold their professional duties. This kind of act would interfere with press freedom preventing them from carrying out their duties effectively.
Both have lodged police reports on the assault and we urge the police to spring into action.
We also call on reporters and photographers especially NUJ members, covering “social unrest” event of this nature to adhere to guidelines in our safety handbook.
Those assigned to cover such event have to get prepared for any eventuality and the book provides key guidance on the do’s and don’ts.
CHIN SUNG CHEW