Photo by AJI

[Indonesia] AJI Jakarta Condemns Violent Treatment of Journalists at Munajat 212

Originally published in Bahasa Indonesia on the AJI website on 22 February 2019.

AJI Jakarta – A number journalists had been assaulted, intimidated and persecuted by a crowd wearing the attributes of the the Islamic Defense Front (FPI) in the National Monument area during the Munajat 212 gathering held Thursday (2/21) night in Jakarta.

CNN Indonesia TV News Coordinator Joni Aswira who was on location at the time of the incident revealed that about a dozen journalists from various media had gathered around the VIP entrance near the stage, waiting for the arrival of several figures they were expecting to interview.

At around 9pm during the recitation of religious praises, a commotion erupted. The crowd appeared to have moved to apprehend a person.

At the time, a rumor spread that a pickpocket had been caught. The journalists immediately moved toward the location. Some were already recording the incident, including CNN Indonesia TV photo journalist and cameraperson. His camera looked conspicuous and he became targeted by a large number of people. Some of them yelled at the cameraperson, forcing him to delete the seconds-long footage of fracas that he had managed to record.

While the cameraperson was erasing the footage, Joni Aswira heard the crowd make intimidating statements, including: “Who are you working for? How much are they paying you?” “Just record the good stuffs, don’t bother taping the bad stuffs!”

A Detikcom journalist suffered similar treatment. While recording, his hand were pulled back and pinned at his back by someone who wanted to forcibly erase the footage he captured. However, he refused to surrender his mobile phone.

The crowd then herded the Detikcom journalist to a VIP tent, away from the other journalists. They ignored his remark that he is a member of the press. In the tent he was beaten and scratched and forced to squat in a circle of a dozen or so people.

In the end the captors forcibly confiscated the journalist’s mobile phone. They erased all the photos and videos in it, even uninstalled the messaging application WhatsApp, presumably to keep mobile phone the owner from communicating with others. Following the incident, the journalist had filed a report with the Central Jakarta police and submitted to a visum et repertum.

CNNIndonesia.com reporting on location bore witness to the assault. Another journalist from Suara.com who tried to stop the assault and intimidation ended up losing his mobile phone .

Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Jakarta condemns the assault and intimidation of journalists on reporting duty by the FPI crowd. We deem that by erasing the videos and photos from CNN Indonesia TV and Detikcom cameras, the FPI sympathizers had been in violation of the law by obstructing journalists in their duty to the public’s right to get information.

Article 8 of the 1999 Law No. 40 on the press stipulates that journalists are protected by the law in conducting their professional duties, including in their search for newsworthy material, and in the obtaining, possessing, processing and publishing such material to the public. In addition, violation of this law constitutes a crime punishable by two years imprisonment or 500 million rupiah fine according to the Criminal Code and article 18 of the Press Law.

This was hardly the first incident where FPI sympathizers were involved in violence against journalists. Previously, FPI crowd had beaten Tirto.id journalist Reja Hidayat at the organization’s headquarters in Petamburan, Central Jakarta, on November 30, 2016.

In response to the intimidation and assault, AJI Jakarta has issued the following statements:

  1. We strongly condemn the intimidation and assault by FPI crowd on journalists who were reporting the Munajat 212 gathering.
  2. We urge the Police to arrest the perpetrators and take them to court where they might be given the harshest sentence to achieve a deterrent effect and prevent future repeat of the incident.
  3. We urge the police to fully investigate previous incidents of violence against journalists. We note that to this day no court trial has resulted from cases of violence against journalists.
  4. We urge the public not to intimidate, persecute, and assault any reporting journalists on duty.

Jakarta, February 22, 2019
Asnil Bambani Amri, AJI Jakarta Chairman, 081374439365‬
Erick Tanjung, AJI Jakarta Chief of Advocacy Division , 08118109277

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AJI Jakarta Kecam Kekerasan dan Intimidasi Jurnalis Saat Munajat 212

AJIJakarta – Sejumlah jurnalis menjadi korban kekerasan, intimidasi, dan persekusi oleh massa yang menggunakan atribut Front Pembela Islam (FPI). Peristiwa itu terjadi di kawasan Monas, Jakarta, saat kegiatan Munajat 212 digelar pada Kamis malam (21/2/2019).

Koordinator Liputan CNN Indonesia TV, Joni Aswira yang berada di lokasi menjelaskan kejadian tersebut. Malam itu, belasan jurnalis dari berbagai media berkumpul di sekitar pintu masuk VIP, dekat panggung acara. Mereka menanti sejumlah narasumber yang datang untuk diwawancarai.

Tiba-tiba di tengah selawatan sekitar pukul 21.00 WIB, terjadi keributan. Massa terlihat mengamankan orang. Saat itu, beredar kabar ada copet tertangkap. Para jurnalis yang berkumpul langsung mendekati lokasi kejadian. Beberapa di antaranya merekam, termasuk jurnalis foto (kamerawan) CNN Indonesia TV.

Kamera jurnalis CNN Indonesia TV cukup mencolok sehingga menjadi bahan buruan sejumlah orang. Massa yang mengerubungi bertambah banyak dan tak terkendali. Beberapa orang membentak dan memaksa jurnalis menghapus gambar kericuhan yang sempat terekam beberapa detik.

Saat sedang menghapus gambar, Joni mendengar ucapan bernada intimidasi dari arah massa. “Kalian dari media mana? Dibayar berapa?”, “Kalau rekam yang bagus-bagus aja, yang jelek enggak usah!”

Nasib serupa juga dialami wartawan Detikcom. Saat sedang merekam, dia dipiting oleh seseorang yang ingin menghapus gambar. Namun, dia tak mau menyerahkan ponselnya.

Massa kemudian menggiring wartawan Detikcom ke dalam tenda VIP sendirian. Meski telah mengaku sebagai wartawan, mereka tetap tak peduli. Di sana, dia juga dipukul dan dicakar, selain dipaksa jongkok di tengah kepungan belasan orang.

Namun akhirnya ponsel wartawan tersebut diambil paksa. Semua foto dan video di ponsel tersebut dihapus. Bahkan aplikasi WhatsApp pun dihapus, diduga agar pemilik tak bisa berkomunikasi dengan orang lain. Usai kejadian itu, korban langsung melapor ke Polres Jakarta Pusat dan melakukan visum.

Jurnalis CNNIndonesia.com yang meliput di lokasi kejadian ikut menjadi saksi kekerasan tersebut. Sementara jurnalis Suara.com yang berusaha melerai kekerasan dan intimidasi itu terpaksa kehilangan ponselnya.

Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI) Jakarta mengutuk aksi kekerasan dan intimidasi oleh massa FPI terhadap jurnalis yang sedang liputan. Kami menilai tindakan laskar FPI menghapus rekaman video maupun foto dari kamera jurnalis CNN Indonesia TV dan Detikcom adalah perbuatan melawan hukum. Mereka telah menghalang-halangi kerja jurnalis untuk memenuhi hak publik dalam memperoleh informasi.

Pasal 8 Undang Undang Nomor 40 Tahun 1999 tentang Pers menyatakan, dalam menjalankan profesinya jurnalis mendapat perlindungan hukum. Kerja-kerja jurnalistik itu meliputi mencari bahan berita, memperoleh, memiliki, menyimpan, mengolah, hingga menyampaikan kepada publik. Selain itu, mereka juga bisa dijerat pasal pidana yang merujuk pada KUHP, serta Pasal 18 UU Pers, dengan ancaman dua tahun penjara atau denda Rp500 juta.

Kasus intimidasi dan kekerasan terhadap jurnalis yang melibatkan massa FPI tidak hanya terjadi kali ini saja. Sebelumnya massa FPI pernah melakukan pemukulan terhadap jurnalis Tirto.id Reja Hidayat di Markas FPI, Petamburan, Jakarta Pusat, pada Rabu, 30 November 2016 lalu.

Atas intimidasi dan kekerasan terhadap jurnalis tersebut, AJI Jakarta menyerukan dan menyatakan:

  1. Mengecam keras tindakan intimidasi dan kekerasan yang dilakukan massa FPI terhadap para jurnalis yang sedang liputan Munajat 212.
  2. Mendesak aparat kepolisian menangkap para pelaku dan diadili di pengadilan hingga mendapatkan hukuman seberat-beratnya agar ada efek jera. Sehingga kasus serupa tak terulang di masa mendatang.
  3. Mendesak aparat kepolisian mengusut tuntas kasus-kasus kekerasan terhadap jurnalis sebelumnya. Sebab, hingga kini belum ada kasus kekerasan terhadap jurnalis yang tuntas sampai pengadilan.
  4. Mengimbau masyarakat agar tidak melakukan intimidasi, persekusi dan kekerasan terhadap jurnalis yang sedang liputan.

Jakarta, 22 Februari 2019
Asnil Bambani Amri, Ketua AJI Jakarta, 081374439365
Erick Tanjung, Ketua Divisi Advokasi AJI Jakarta, 08118109277

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