Journalists wear black in support of arrested newsmen

PETALING JAYA, Malaysia - Journalists in newsrooms and at press conferences wore black on Wednesday in solidarity with the five editors and top executives of The Malaysian Insider who were arrested under the Sedition Act.

Institute of Journalists Malaysia (IoJ) said journalists were wearing black in solidarity, as the arrests were "an attack on press freedom as a whole, not on merely one news organisation".

"We call on all journalists across languages and platforms to unite against unwarranted state action against the press," IoJ said.

National Union of Journalists (NUJ) secretary-general Schave Jerome De Rozario said that he hoped members of the public would also join the silent protest.

"We express solidarity with the five arrested under the Sedition Act. We have to voice out that freedom of speech is always a priority and journalists should be free to tell the truth," he said, adding that if any parties had an issue with a news story, there were other laws with which to seek redress.

The Star's Parliament reporter Yuen Mei Keng said that the media had to be united in expressing support for the news portal.

"We at Parliament donned black because we wanted to make a stand, even if we are not in the office. In the field we may be competitors, but we are all comrades and friends in this industry," she said.