Aliran Media Statement
Honest Journalism in Jeopardy

It is tragic that the doors are being slammed shut on freedom of expression by the judiciary which is unable to appreciate that criticisms can be made without malice and that strong opinions expressed need not be contemptuous.  There has to be greater tolerance and wider leeway for honest journalists who dare to do a decent job in their reporting.

It is a terrible setback for society when journalists are forever in fear of mega suits and consequently are forced to resort to superficial reporting.

Today's verdict dismissing Murray Hiebert's appeal against his custodial sentencing of three months' jail has, without any doubt, severely restricted the space and scope for freedom of expression in this country. It adds another nail to the coffin.

P. Ramakrishnan
11 September 1999

Aliran Kesedaran Negara (ALIRAN) (National Consciousness Movement)
103 Medan Penaga
11600 Penang
Tel:     +60-4-658 5251
Fax:     +60-4-658 5197