The head of a popular Malaysian online news portal has been charged for airing videos of a news conference by a former ruling party member in what a rights group labeled an attack on press freedom.

Lawyer K. Shanmuga says Malaysiakini's editor-in-chief Steven Gan was charged Friday under the Communications and Multimedia Act for uploading offensive videos with the intent of annoying others.

The July 27 videos feature a news conference by a former ruling party official calling on the attorney general to quit.

If found guilty, Gan could be fined or jailed up to a year.

Human Rights Watch says the charge is serious violation of press freedom and shows the increasingly dictatorial side of Prime Minister Najib Razak's government at a time it's grappling with a scandal.