Statement: Journalism is not a crime

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The Melbourne Press Club is calling on Malaysia to immediately cease its criminal investigation into five Australian journalists over their fair and balanced reporting for Al Jazeera.

The journalists, including multi-award winning journalist Drew Ambrose, are facing the serious prospect of jail time in Malaysia for a documentary on 101 East about migrant workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The five Australians were hauled into police headquarters for questioning on Friday, along with one other Al Jazeera journalist.

They are being investigated over allegations of defamation, sedition and violation of the country’s Communications and Multimedia Act.

MPC President Nick McKenzie says journalism is not a crime.

“Malaysia should immediately drop its investigation,” he said.

“These journalists were simply doing their job and they should not be treated like criminals.”

“Their reporting was fair and balanced and they should be free to do their jobs without fear of retribution from the government.”

Al Jazeera says death threats have been made against the journalists and they have been harassed online.

The Melbourne Press Club is concerned for their safety and will do everything it can to protect and promote press freedom in Australia and abroad.

CONTACT: Nick McKenzie 0401 877 402

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