Throughout the investigation of missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370, the government has been accused of being uncooperative and withholding details. Now, their insistence on keeping families away from media is making it look even more like they're hiding something.
The New York Times reported that prior to a media briefing on Wednesday, protesters claiming to represent the Flight 370 families unfurled a banner that read: "We oppose the Malaysian government concealing the truth. Delaying time for saving lives." Protestor Xu Denwang said, "All our feelings are the same: we demand to know the truth." Police came into the room and took down the banner and forced outspoken members of the crowd to leave.
A distraught mother is taken away from cameras by Malaysian authorities
A female family member in the room called out the integrity of the government, saying,
"We need to know the truth! The Malaysian government is a bunch of cheats. All the governments of the world must join together to pressure the Malaysian government to give an explanation."
In the above video, BBC reporter Jonah Fisher is denied access to where the families are, with no explanation as to why. He notes that Malaysia officials "are not used to having their authority challenged like this. This was not a message the Malaysians want the world to hear, and they crudely stepped in and dragged the women kicking and screaming out of the room."
Once the protestors were quelled, at the subsequent news conference, Malaysia's defense minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, commented on the protest saying that he could "fully understand" the grief of the families. "It is heart-wrenching, even for me," he said. Hussein later issued a statement, saying:
"We regret the scenes at this afternoon's press conference, involving some of the relatives of passengers on board MH370. One can only imagine the anguish they are going through. Malaysia is doing everything in its power to find MH370 and hopefully bring some degree of closure for those whose family members are missing. I have ordered an immediate inquiry into the events in the press room today."
What does the Malaysia government know, that they're not telling us? Their refusal to let families and media communicate openly only raises suspicion. Hopefully, the other 25 nations participating in the investigation can convince Malaysia to be more open as the search continues, clouded in doubt and secrecy.
All photos provided by Getty Images