KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 — A journalists’ group today condemned Lembah Pantai Umno for evicting non-Malay reporters from covering the division’s annual general meeting today.

Gerakan Media Merdeka (Geramm) in a statement said it had received complaints that non-Malay reporters, were told to leave the venue.

“The orders were given on the basis that the event was a ‘Malay conference’ and that only Malays were allowed to cover the launch of the event, officiated by Umno vice president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri.

“Non-Malay reporters and photographers were asked to leave the event right before it began around 2pm at the Persatuan Alumni Universiti Malaya (PAUM) in Petaling Jaya,” Geramm said in a statement today.

The group said that the move not only obstructed freedom of the press but was also a form of racial discrimination.

“We oppose any form of restriction against the media, unless on a reasonable basis, such as concerning security.

“All media has equal rights to gain access to news sources regardless of their background,” the group said.

Geramm urged all parties to respect media freedom and for its members to continue showing solidarity towards the formation of the Malaysia Media Council.