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Sunday, April 29, 2012

BERSIH 3.0: Police attack journalists recording brutality against protesters

A female reporter, Merdeka Review reporter Chen Shaua Fui, was manhandled by four male police personnel at about 7.30pm, when she tried to photograph police personnel beating up protesters who were eating at a restaurant.

“Police dragged out two people who were eating, arrested them and beat them up. I wanted to take a photo but was warned by police not to, so I didn’t.

“Then they went to another restaurant where two others were having their meal. The police asked them to take off their shirts, arrested and beat them. I wanted to take photos and that’s when they grabbed me,”

An Al Jazeera videoman was also ‘punched’

Al Jazeera reporter Harry Fawcett said that he was “manhandled” by several uniformed police personnel when he had tried to capture what looked like police assaulting protesters.

He told Malaysiakini that a group of 10 to 15 police personnel surrounded him and Al Jazeera videographer Ray Jones at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

“We saw two or three police officers hold a guy while another was kneeing him either in the face or in the chest, it wasn’t clear.

“When we went to record it, I found that we were surrounded by police who were extremely aggressive. They held my arm and gripped my shirt. When I turned around, the camera was on the ground,” he said when contacted.

He said Jones told him that he was “punched at the back of the head” by police personnel and the camera was “smashed” to the ground.

“The camera was wrenched from him and our wireless microphone and battery pack was taken. The camera was smashed to the ground, and we coudn’t take the tape out. It was inoperable,” he said.

Minutes before the incident, Fawcett and Jones were also stopped from recording another incident where police allegedly assaulted protesters, and were also stopped by police.

“A group of protesters tried to enter Dataran Merdeka... two or three police officers would hold one guy while another punched his body. We were about 100 metres away from the scene,” he said.

Others hurt during the rally were Malay Mail photographer Arif Kartono, reportedly assaulted by several uniformed police personnel and Al-Hijrah videographer Mohd Azri Mohd Salleh, reportedly assaulted by protesters.

At least two media personnel, including Malaysiakini's photojournalist Koh Jun Lin, were also arrested in what appears to be an unprecedented heavy-handedness on journalists by the authorities.

Do you have photographs or video clips depicting police brutality during Bersih 3.0? Contact photo@malaysiakini.com and let Malaysiakini help you share them with Malaysiakini readers.

Source: Female reporter 'grabbed' by four male cops at rally

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