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Malaysia: Media reporting on humanitarian issues in conflict areas

11-10-2004 News Release 04/121

A seminar entitled "Media reporting on humanitarian issues in conflict areas" was held in Kuala Lumpur on 7 October.


Panel speakers included Philippe Latour (far left) of Reporters sans Frontieres and Shahanaaz Habib (far right), a Malaysian journalist who had reported in Baghdad, Iraq before and during the war.©ICRC 

Opened by Malaysia’s deputy minister for Internal Security, Chia Kwang Chye, the event was attended by 60 Malaysian journalists from print, broadcasting and the electronic media, government ministries, academic circles, and humanitarian and other non-governmental organizations. It was organized jointly by the ICRC’s regional delegation and the Asian Institute for Development Communication. The seminar was among the first of its kind in Malaysia and was intended to make journalists in the country more aware of the role they can play in highlighting current issues of humanitarian concern, understanding subjects of debate in international humanitarian law and covering events in wartime.

Deputy Minister Chia Kwang Chye stressed the urgent need to address the growing threat that breaches of international humanitarian law pose to people affected by armed conflict. He noted that giving those people a voice was an essential step in ensur ing tolerable conditions in times of conflict.

Speakers included Malaysian journalists who had covered the recent conflicts in Iraq and Sudan. The participants related experiences and exchanged information on these issues and the security problems that arise when they work in dangerous conditions. Both journalists and representatives of humanitarian and other non-governmental organizations cited the need to provide the Malaysian media and humanitarian workers with basic knowledge of international humanitarian law and to help them understand its relevance.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Khalib Azrul, ICRC Kuala Lumpur, tel.: ++603 20 93 99 62