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Malaysia’s police chief to conduct an impartial investigation Bersih 3.0

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Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia’s police chief on Wednesday vowed to conduct an impartial investigation into alleged attacks against journalists by police officers during last weekend’s violent demonstration in Kuala Lumpur.

Police Inspector General Ismail Omar said he would not spare police officers found to be involved in the attacks.

“Even if it was our men, they will have to be answerable,” he said at a press briefing in the police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. “We understand that you were doing your duty during the rally.”

At least two local journalists suffered injuries after they were allegedly beaten up by police officers during the violent dispersal of tens of thousands of activists who had gathered Saturday in the center of the capital to demand reforms to the country’s electoral system.

Several more journalists alleged they had been manhandled and their cameras confiscated or destroyed by police. The National Union of Journalists called on the government to set up an independent panel to investigate the attacks.

“The panel should summon police officers involved, as well as the journalists and photographers to testify, so that the public can finally know what transpired during the rally,” it said in a statement.

A representative of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said reporters were deliberately attacked by security forces during the crackdown.

“Journalists were clearly singled out and targeted by Malaysian security forces during this weekend’s crackdown,” said Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior South-East Asia representative. “Those responsible for the violence should be held accountable for their actions.”