PUTRAJAYA (May 15, 2012): A group of concerned journalists submitted a petition to the Prime Minister's Office seeking a public apology from the government and the police over the assault on members of the media during last month's Bersih 3.0 rally.
The petition, titled "Don't beat up journalists", contains nearly 4,000 signatures. It was handed to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak's assistant press secretary Umi Hani Shaarani.
The team comprised theSun journalist Mohd Radzi Abdul Razak, Merdeka Review assistant editor Chen Shaua Fui, Guang Ming Daily photographer Wong Kin Onn, The Star photographer P. Nathan and Malaysiakini senior video producer Shufiyan Shukur.
The group's spokesman Gobind Rudra said apart from a public apology, the petition also called for the government to conduct an impartial inquiry into the allegations of violence, return or replace seized or damaged equipment and provide reasonable compensation to those affected.
"We will wait for the response from the Prime Minister's Office, Home Ministry and the inspector-general of police," he told reporters after handing over the petition today.
He said if the government does not respond to the petition, the group will suggest the journalists who were harmed during the rally take legal action.
Mohd Radzi, 27, who was assaulted by seven or eight uniformed policemen while he was covering the demonstration, said members of the media fraternity do not hate the police.
He said people should respect journalists. He wanted those on duty to be given due protection.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has said the government would investigate all claims of police brutality against journalists.
A six-member independent panel headed by former inspector-general of police Tun Hanif Omar was recently set up by the government to investigate allegations of violence at the rally.