PETALING JAYA: The National Union of Journalists has condemned an attack on a press photographer covering a football match in Ipoh last night, and demanded stringent security measures at future matches.
The NUJ called for action by the authorities, including the police, against the man who attacked New Straits Times Press photographer Supian Ahmad, 36.
Supian’s RM30,000 camera was also stolen in the attack, said to have been carried out by Johor football team supporters. The attacker had also forced Supian to erase the pictures he had taken, the NUJ said, calling it an extreme act.
“It is the job and responsibility of every photographer to take pictures during a football match and other related incidents that happened either during, before or after a match,” the NUJ said in a statement today.
Supian said yesterday that a group of people had kicked and stomped on him when he went to take photographs at a fan area after hearing the sound of firecrackers. He sustained injuries on his limbs, eyes and abdomen.
The NUJ questioned whether safety measures for media personnel were part of the standard procedures of the stadium management and match organiser.
It pointed out that the violence that erupted between the rival supporters showed that numerous illegal items such as flares and firecrackers had been smuggled into the stadium.
Earlier today, Johor’s football team criticised the lack of safety measures at the match and said that only 100 police personnel were assigned to control the 35,000 fans in the stadium.
JDT supporters ran into the middle of the field last night to celebrate their team’s victory, causing the supporters of both teams to throw bottles at each other as well as firecrackers.