KUALA LUMPUR: A TV Al-Hijrah cameraman was injured when he tried to stop protesters from beating up a policeman at the Bersih 3.0 rally on Saturday.
Mohd Azri Mohd Salleh@Khalid, 28, was riding his motorcycle along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman around 4pm when he saw a big crowd in front of Sogo.
"I saw the group of protesters throwing things at the police patrol car. The windscreen of the car broke and I saw the lone policeman in the car slump over," Azri said from his hospital bed at Hospital Kuala Lumpur, yesterday. He said the patrol car then crashed into a crowd.
"I was recording the incident until I saw them drag the unconscious policeman out of the car and started kicking and hitting him."
Azri then ran towards the crowd and pleaded with them to leave the policeman alone.
"They backed off but then two others from the crowd started hitting me on my head and face. I fell, asking them to stop but they continued the attack. I remember hugging my camera to protect it."
He said he managed to escape when another man came up and asked the attackers to stop.
He was rushed to the hospital and received nine stitches for his head injury.
"I am shocked as this has never happened to me in the six years I've worked for the media," Azri said, adding the whole incident lasted for at least three minutes.
The policeman who the cameraman saved - Constable Kamil Paimin, 24, - said he will be forever grateful to Azri for saving his life.
"Who knows what would have happened if he had not come and helped me?" he said.
The 24-year-old, a policeman attached with Kuala Terengganu district police headquarters, said he was driving towards Dataran Merdeka when the crowd in front of Sogo surrounded his car.
"I lost consciousness after they threw things at the car and something hit my head. I only found out the rest after I woke up in the hospital," Kamil, who received six stitches to his head, said.