Journalists, photographers don black to show solidarity

Reporters wearing black attire during a press conference at Seri Kembangan on Thursday.

(The Star) – Hundreds of journalists and photographers showed up at press conferences and their offices dressed in black in a show of solidarity in conjunction with the World Press Freedom Day on Thursday.

The unprecedented move was initiated in the wake of the violence towards pressmen at Saturday’s Bersih 3.0 rally.

“I am wearing black as a sign of solidarity, not just for World Press Freedom Day, but also for what happened at the rally, where many pressmen were roughed up and intimidated by the police,” said Austin Camoens, a journalist at The Star.

“We were on duty too,” he said, adding that he hoped the police would be more understanding towards pressmen, especially those who were on duty at potentially dangerous assignments.

Vincent Boon, a journalist from a Chinese daily, donned black with a group of journalist friends although he was on vacation.

“We have never done this (wear black on World Press Freedom Day) before, but after April 28, we felt like we needed to voice out our concerns,” Boon said.

“If we do not do something, there would be no pressure on the authorities,” he added.

Former journalist, Asohan Aryaduray, also tweeted at @Asohan, “It’s #WorldPressFreedomDay and I’m dressed in black, in mourning.”

Earlier, several Chinese newspapers have printed their front pages in black in silent protest.

The editors at the papers said that they had decided to do so to remind readers and authorities of the struggles pressmen face while carrying out their duties, especially during rallies.