At 6.30pm on Thursday, March 1, 2012, 249 Penang journalists signed/ sent a petition to state Police Chief Ayub Yaacob , urging him to take action on those who attacked two journalists during the anti-Lynas rally at the Esplanade (Speakers Square), on Sunday, Feb 26.
See here for video evidence.
MEMORANDUM TO PENANG CHIEF POLICE OFFICER (edited copy)
1 MARCH 2012
NO TO VIOLENCE TOWARDS JOURNALISTS ON DUTY, TAKE ACTION AGAINST THE OFFENDERS
We, the ( ) undersigned journalists in Penang, condemn the action by those who acted violently towards journalists and the public during the Anti-Lynas rally in Esplanade on 26th February 2012.
Over the past four years, journalists on duty have been treated violently during demonstrations. In the recent incident on February 26, during the Anti-Lynas rally held in Esplanade, journalists were beaten up again.
It is regretted that the authorities did not learn any lessons from previous incidents and improve the situation, instead the public and journalists continue to face danger.
Journalists are always in the forefront when reporting, and are often face to face with dangerous situations while on duty.
Hence, when journalists are beaten up again and again, and when peaceful assemblies are interrupted time and again, we want to state our concerns as below:
1. The responsibility of the police is to protect public safety, but in the Anti-Lynas rally, although traffic police and some police officers were around, they did not stop the violent incident to ensure that the rally continue peacefully and smoothly. We regret this, and we hope that the police will give us a reasonable explanation about this.
2.We feel the police should look into this matter seriously and investigate it thoroughly. If the police are proven to be negligent during the incident, necessary disciplinary action should be taken.
3.Since the reporters attacked in the Anti-Lynas rally had lodged police reports, and handed the photographs of those perpetrators to the police, we hope the police will take action in one week’s time.
4.In order to prove that the police are highly effective, we hope the police will announce to the public the outcome of their investigation into the cases where journalists were attacked, and what kind of action has been taken.
Penang Press Club,
Penang Chinese Media Journalist and Photographers Association,
Journalist Union Of North Malaya,
Penang Press Employee’s Cooperative Society Ltd.
Seberang Perai Press Association