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Citizens’ groups condemn Gombak police chief’s threat to sue news portal
[Image: Arifai_Tarawe_30042021.jpeg]

KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 — Twelve civil society organisations (CSOs) criticised outgoing Gombak police chief Arifai Tarawe today over his threat to sue the Free Malaysia Today (FMT) portal over its reporting on his transfer to the integrity unit at the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman.

“It is unacceptable for the police to harass and threaten journalists and media organisations for fulfilling their responsibility to report on matters of public importance. The public also has the right to comment on and discuss issues such as deaths in police custody, which continue to happen with alarming frequency.

“Human rights organisation Suaram has documented at least eight cases in 2020, with at least 104 people having died in custody from 2011 to 2018.

“These threats of lawsuits and investigations by the police are an attack on media freedom and a violation of the freedom of expression guaranteed under the Federal Constitution,” said the CSOs in a joint statement today.

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