Monday, March 14, 2016

Australia to contact Putrajaya over ‘crackdown on freedom of speech’, says report

Australia is "deeply concerned" over the arrests of its journalists in Kuching on Saturday, and will raised the issue with Putrajaya, The Guardian reports today. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said it would be providing consular support to the crew. "I'm always concerned where there are instances of a crackdown on freedom of speech in democracies particularly and I'm also concerned about the freedom that journalists have to carry out their work in places around the world. "These are matters that we raise with governments from time to time and we certainly will with Malaysia," Bishop was quoted as saying. ABC Four Corners journalists Linton Besser and Louis Eroglu had tried to approach Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who was on an official visit to the Darul Ehsan Mosque at Kampung Haji Baki, Kota Sentosa on Saturday. Sally Neighbour, the programme's executive producer, said on Twitter the staff were arrested after they attempted to ask the prime minister over a "corruption scandal". Police said the journalists had crossed the security line and aggressively tried to approach Najib. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday said Putrajaya does not obstruct local or foreign press from carrying out their duties, but they have to abide by journalism ethics as well as the laws of Malaysia. – March 14, 2016.]]>

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