Me­dia urged to re­spect fam­i­lies’ pri­vacy

New Straits Times - - News -

The con­stant me­dia at­ten­tion has forced some of the next of kin of Malaysians stranded in North Korea to move to rented houses to pro­tect their pri­vacy.

At a meet­ing with For­eign Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Ani­fah Aman at the In­sti­tute of Di­plo­macy and For­eign Re­la­tions (IDFR), 11 fam­ily mem­bers of the nine Malaysians barred from leav­ing North Korea had con­veyed their wish for the me­dia to re­spect their pri­vacy to Ani­fah, who then re­layed the mes­sage to the press.

“Please, the fam­ily mem­bers have asked not to be dis­turbed. I’d ap­pre­ci­ate it very much.

“Even if you’d asked them, they wouldn’t have much in­for­ma­tion. You can ask us if you want to know the lat­est up­dates.

“So, please if you can, leave the fam­ily mem­bers alone. Let them move on with their lives,” he urged me­dia rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Py­ongyang re­port­edly said last week that all Malaysians in North Korea would be barred from leav­ing the coun­try un­til the “the in­ci­dent that hap­pened in Malaysia is prop­erly solved”.

The move, seen by many as ef­fec­tively hold­ing the Malaysians hostage, comes amid an in­creas­ingly heated diplo­matic row over the killing of Kim Jong-nam on Feb 13.

Two Malaysians — staffers at the United Na­tions — were able to fly out of Py­ongyang ear­lier this week us­ing UN pass­ports, leav­ing nine be­hind, in­clud­ing three chil­dren.

Since then, their fam­ily mem­bers have come un­der con­stant at­ten­tion from lo­cal and for­eign me­dia.

The fam­ily mem­bers at the IDFR did not make any state­ments to the press. Seated next to Ani­fah, they nod­ded gen­tly as the min­is­ter told the press to re­spect their pri­vacy.

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