A journalist who was allegedly assaulted by a group of police during the Bersih 3.0 rally last April has been selected as a poster boy of the day in an international campaign for freedom of expression.
Radzi Razak, a journalist with theSun, is among 23 individuals worldwide who were threatened for expressing their views whose plight are highlighted for the International Day to End Impunity, which falls on Nov 23.
The campaign by the Global Network For Free Expression aims to raise awareness and to hold those curbing freedom of expression accountable for their actions.
“Each day from Nov 1 to 23, we will reveal an individual who has been threatened, attacked or worse for expressing themselves. In all of the cases, the perpetrators have gone free,” the campaign website reads.
Today, those who support Radzi’s cause for a standard operating procedure to protect media at rallies can click on a link on the website to tweet to Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and the police.
“Don’t let the police get away with it. Pressure the authorities to be accountable by tweeting the home minister of Malaysia and the police force,” the website reads.
Others selected for the campaign were Belarussian journalist Iryana Khalip who was jailed and assaulted, and Columbian journalist Jineth Bedoya Lima who was drugged and kidnapped for their reporting.
‘It should never happen again’
According to Radzi, he was approached to participate in the campaign last month.
“The government needs to do something to protect journalists so that whatever that had happened to me will never happen again,” he said when contacted.
Many other media personnel, including Malaysiakini journalist Koh Jun Lin also claimed to be manhandled and stopped from recording police brutality against protesters that day.
Radzi (left in photo) had, from his hospital bed the day after the assault, urged the home minister to take action against the perpertrators.
He was also visited by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak who apologised for what had happened.
To date, no action has been taken against those who assaulted the journalist, who suffered bruising and facial fractures from the thrashing.
An identification parade was put together soon after the incident, but none of the perpetrators were involved.
The Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), during the inquiry into the April rally, has also urged the police to facilitate a second identity parade, which was promised but never took place.