Malaysian police raid Al Jazeera office over coronavirus documentary

News broadcaster Al Jazeera has condemned Malaysian police following a raid on their offices in Kuala Lumpur.

The raid comes weeks after journalists were questioned for a documentary on the plight of migrant workers during the pandemic.

The documentary was titled Locked Up In Malaysia’s Lockdown and aired in the country on July 3.

The program investigated Malaysia’s treatment of illegal foreign workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Giles Trendle, managing director of Al Jazeera English, said two computers have been seized by authorities.

“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,” he said.

“Al Jazeera calls upon the Malaysian authorities to cease this criminal investigation into our journalists.

“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.”

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin sits in parliament.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has been accused of clamping down on press freedom.(AP: Vincent Thian)

Rights groups have accused the government of suppressing media freedom after Al Jazeera journalists were called in for questioning by the police and an investigation was opened into alleged sedition, defamation and violation of a communications law.

Six journalists are under investigation, including five Australians.

Activists have voiced concern that the administration of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is stifling dissent amid a series of clampdowns, an accusation it has denied.