Death Threats To Journalist Condemned

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With reference to media reports on death threats received by a female journalist with a Tamil newspaper in Penang, Gerakan Media Marah (Geramm) hereby condemns such attempts to intimidate and silence the media.

National news agency Bernama on Tuesday reported that the journalist had once again received a threat from an unidentified individual, believed to be related to her news report on the arrest of 33 men, on January 28, suspected of trying to cause trouble during the Thaipusam celebrations.

This time, the reporter claimed to have received a phone call at about 9.11pm on Monday night from a man threatening “to finish her off” if he came across her in Penang.

“He also threatened to go my house in Ipoh, Perak, to do something and stated several times that he would definitely finish me off as soon as possible,” she was quoted as saying.

Penang police is reportedly investigating the case after the 27-year-old journalist had lodged a report on Monday night but Geramm notes with concern that she was still assigned to cover the Thaipusam celebrations by her employer despite the threats against her.

While we understand the need to be professional in the pursuit of our duties, the safety of journalists should also be seen to.

Geramm notes that this is not the first time such threats have been directed at journalists and we urge all quarters concerned to respect media practitioners who are discharging their duties at keeping the public informed, and stop such acts of intimidation.

Geramm is confident that the police will discharge their duties without fear or favour in investigating this heinous threat and hope that the police will move to ensure the safety of the journalist in question and all those discharging their duties are seen to.

Geramm is a loose coalition of journalists, media representatives and activists who are fighting for freedom of the press and its practitioners.