The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) today lodged a police report against an anti-Bersih group that had apparently acted aggressively towards a group of journalists in Kuala Selangor over the weekend.

The report was lodged by NUJ president Chin Sung Chew, secretary-general Schave Jerome De Rozario and exco member Muhammad Basir Abu Bakar at the Sri Petaling district police station in Brickfields here.

According to De Rozario, the report was made because the leader of the Red Shirts group, allegedly responsible for the incident, was still at large and has yet to be called up for questioning by the police.

“We are aware that the police is taking action but again, we need to stress that members of the media should not be manhandled. With the Bersih 5 rally coming up, we fear that such assaults might be repeated.

“We want the police to note that we will not stay put and let the issue slide as the matter can escalate into something bigger. This is a democratic country. Everyone has the right to protest peacefully,” he said.

“It the journalists’ duty to provide coverage, so don’t manhandle them or ask them to delete their footage as all these are evidence which will go down as part of the country’s history,” he added.

De Rozario also explained that the NUJ did not side with either group – Bersih or the Red Shirts – and was only fighting for the rights of media members.

In the Oct 15 incident, three reporters – two from The Star newspaper and the other from Malaysiakini – were allegedly manhandled by the Red Shirts group during a face-off between the group and the Bersih 5 convoy in front of a supermarket in Kuala Selangor.

The Red Shirts group had apparently grabbed one of the reporters by the shirt collar and forced a video footage, taken from one of the reporters’ mobile phone, to be deleted.