IPOH: A Romanian journalist covering the blockade by Orang Asli in Gerik has confirmed that she was not arrested today but was only taken to the police station for documentation purposes.
The Kuala Lumpur-based Alexandra Radu said she was taken to the Gerik district police headquarters at about 11.30am when she was at Kampung Sungai Papan, Gerik to cover the anti-logging blockade by indigenous villagers.
“I was there around 10am, photographing the blockade when police came at about 11 am and brought me to the police station around 11.30am. But they told me it was just for documentation.
“I came to Gerik yesterday alone just to cover the blockade issue,“ she told Bernama when contacted here today.
According to Radu, who works for international magazine The Diplomat, she was released at 2pm after her statement was recorded.
Gerik district police chief Supt Ismail Che Isa had earlier denied that Radu was arrested by the police.
“While the (logging) company was dismantling the blockade erected by Orang Asli at the entrance to the logging area, a foreign journalist was at the location, believed to cover the event.
“That is why police took her to the district police headquarters to record her statement as a witness, and she was not arrested,” he said.
Temiar Orang Asli villagers of Kampung Sungai Papan had erected the blockade in July to stop logging activities on what they claim to be their ancestral land.
On July 23, police arrested three villagers aged between 20 and 40s and remanded them for two days to help in investigation under Section 341 of the Penal Code for illegal obstruction of vehicles.
However, they were all released by the Gerik Magistrate’s Court on July 25. — Bernama