Violence against journalists condemned

KUCHING: The Federation of Sarawak Journalists Association (FSJA) has lambasted acts of violence against journalists who are carrying out their duties.

FSJA president Jacqueline David, in a statement, stressed that the media had the right and responsibility of bringing news to the public.

“The media is an essential instrument which contributes to the awareness and protection of human rights through its reporting, pushing relevant parties to respond and prevent occurrences of transgressions.

“Journalists and media personnel are often first on the scene, at times putting their own safety and security on the line.

“For as long as there are the public who have an unconditional need to know, the media will go to the ends of the world to get the reader the news. That is what makes news, and is our right and responsibility to the public,” she said on Monday (Feb 22).

Jacqueline was alluding to the case of a reporter from a local Chinese daily who was assaulted at a scene of a fatal accident near a construction site in Ulu Bintawa over the weekend.

In the incident, which took place around 2.50pm on Saturday, the reporter was approached by three men who demanded that he deleted the photos that he took at the site of the accident.

 An argument then ensued, with one of the men punching the reporter on his face and warning him not to publish the accident which involved a lorry and a motorcyclist.

Jacqueline said the reporter had lodged a police report and that the case was being investigated under Section 323 of the Penal Code.

“As of time of writing, Kuching district police chief ACP Awang Din Awang Gani said no arrests have been made,” she added.