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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Women journalists sexually harassed by red-shirts on Nov 19



Two women journalists were reportedly sexually harassed by the red-shirts during the group's counter-rally against Bersih on Nov 19.
"(I felt) really terrified and was momentarily unable to do (my) job," said Malay Mail Online senior correspondent P Yiswaree, who added that one of the red-shirts followed her after she was heckled by the group, as reported by the Southeast Asian Alliance (Seapa).
This incident occurred at Padang Merbok, where the journalists said they were "harassed and almost groped" by the red-shirts.
Yiswaree said the red-shirts also harassed another journalists, though concerned bystanders stepped in and prevented the incident from escalating.
It was also reported that a woman photographer immediately left the area after several members of the red-shirts crowd shouted racial slurs such as "Chinese pig" at unspecified persons.
"Government authorities must condemn and investigate these incidents of harassment and intimidation against women journalists covering red-shirt rallies," Seapa executive director Edgardo Legaspi said.
In October, the red-shirts had also roughed up a group of media personnel, demanding them to delete their videos and pictures, after they got into a small altercation with a Bersih convoy.
The red-shirts, led by Sungai Besar Umno division chief Jamal Md Yunos, also held a protest outside the Malaysiakini office building on Nov 12.
"Leaders of red-shirt rallies must tell their members to stop harassing journalists, who are simply doing their jobs.

"Harassment of journalists only gives their group a bad image because of the racist and sexist nature of their heckling," Legaspi said.
The red-shirts held a counter-rally on the same day as the Bersih 5 rally last Saturday in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysiakini estimated the red-shirts to have numbered 4,000 people at the peak of their counter-rally, at Padang Merbok.-Mkini

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