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Monday, April 30, 2012

Hisham warned editors not to report on police brutality - Surendran


Hisham warned editors not to report on police brutality - Surendran
I refer to the Bersih 3.0 rally and the BN government's high-handed and brutal action against the media. We have uncovered further evidence indicating that the orders to harass, obstruct and arrest journalists covering the Bersih 3.0 rally came from the highest levels of the Home Ministry.
On 27.4.12, the Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein Onn had ordered all Chief Editors of major dailies to appear before him. We are informed that at the meeting instructions were given on how to report the news on the Bersih rally on 28.4.12, and that the editors were asked to refrain from reporting on police brutality.
It is extremely disturbing that one day after this meeting, journalists trying to record police misconduct were brutalized in an unprecedented manner. The police appear to have been carrying out the wishes of the Home Minister.
Until now, no explanation has been given by the PM, Home Minister or IGP on the police attacks upon the media. Hishamuddin's answer that seizure of press photographers' equpiment was standard operating procedure is a shocking admission of illegality and unlawful conduct by the police.
Greater freedom of press a sham
This is also a serious attack by the BN upon press freedom. Under our democratic system, the Home Minister has no business dictating to the media on what they can or cannot report.
Prime Minister Najib Razak's pretence of amending the PPPA 1984 in order to allow more press freedom is now exposed as a great sham. We call upon Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein to reveal within 24 hours, full details of the instructions given to the media at the meeting.
We further demand that Najib and Hishamuddin explain and answer for the brutal and organized police attacks upon the media and the public on 28/4.
N Surendran is the PKR vice president

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