Al Jazeera calls Malaysian authorities to stop initiating criminal investigations into its professional, impartial journalism


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian police have called up today the journalist and 3 other people from the international news agency Al Jazeera, who have recently produced and published a controversial video report about Malaysia, to give their statements at Bukit Aman.

The Aljazeera employees arrived at Bukit Aman at about 8.50am, accompanied by seven lawyers.

Malaysia World News has learned that Al Jazeera news agency is worried about the safety of its staff members being investigated by Malaysian authorities over an investigative documentary on the detention of migrant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The documentary or video report named ” locked in the lockdown”, which portrays the Malaysian government`s treatment of illegal immigrants during the fight against Covid-19, is believed to be inaccurate and abusive. 

Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department deputy director (Investigation/Legal) DCP Mior Faridalathrash Wahid, when contacted by Bernama, said the police are investigating the case under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948, Section 500 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

Malaysian police are investigating the Al Jazeera staff members for sedition, defamation and violation of the country’s Communications and Multimedia Act. 

The Malaysian authorities said the report was being inaccurate, misleading, and unfair.

However, according to The Star, Al Jazeera team lawyer maintains that the ‘lockdown’ documentary reporting was balanced and fair.

Defence Minister Ismail Sabri described the documentary as “deceptive and unethical,” and demanded Aljazeera to  “apologise to all Malaysians.”

According to Dateline website, “Al Jazeera is deeply concerned that its staff are now subject to a police investigation,” the organization said in a statement.

“In a world in which the media face increasing threats, Al Jazeera calls for media freedom and the right to report freely without intimidation.

“Al Jazeera calls upon the Malaysian authorities to desist from initiating any criminal investigation into its professional, impartial journalism.”

Graduate with a Master of Mass Communication. 10 years working experience in the media and broadcasting.

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