Malaysian police have raided Al Jazeera’s Kuala Lumpur office and seized two computers, the news network said, condemning the incident as a “troubling escalation” in the government’s crackdown on press freedoms.
The raid on Tuesday came after authorities in Malaysia announced they were investigating Al Jazeera for sedition, defamation and violation of the country’s Communications and Multimedia Act.
The probe relates to a 101 East programme that aired on July 3 and examined the Malaysian government’s treatment of undocumented migrant workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Giles Trendle, the managing director of Al Jazeera English, said the network was “gravely concerned” by the raid and called on the Malaysian government to cease its criminal investigation against the network’s journalists immediately.
“Conducting a raid on our office and seizing computers is a troubling escalation in the authorities’ crackdown on media freedom and shows the lengths they are prepared to take to try to intimidate journalists,” Trendle said in a statement.
“Al Jazeera stands by our journalists and we stand by our reporting. Our staff did their jobs and they’ve got nothing to answer for or apologise for. Journalism is not a crime.”
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