[Indonesia] Call for Probe into Violence against Journalists at the May 22 Post-Election Protests

Once again freedom of the press in Indonesia was marred as journalists were assaulted and threatened while reporting at the rally that turned into a riot around the Election Monitoring Agency (Bawaslu) building on Wednesday (5/22).

As verified by the team from Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Jakarta, at least seven journalists have been assaulted, intimidated, and persecuted from the small hours till later in the morning on Wednesday.

The journalists are Budi Tanjung (CNNIndonesia TV journalist), Ryan (CNNIndonesia.com), Ryan (MNC Media journalist), Fajar (Radio Sindo Trijaya journalist), Fadli Mubarok (Alinea.id journalist), as well a reporter and cameraperson from RTV.

It is possible that more journalists were subjected to violent treatment. AJI Jakarta is still in the process of gathering data and verifying information on the assaulted journalists.

The incident happened as journalists were covering the situation around the Bawaslu Building. They were forbidden by the police from recording the arrest of individuals suspected of provoking the masses.

CNN TV Indonesia’s Budi Tanjung was hit on the head and the video he recorded on his mobile phone was erased by members of the Police Mobile Brigade in front of Gereja Kristen Indonesia church on Jl. Wahid Hasyim, Central Jakarta, early on Wednesday morning.

Another incident was reported by Ryan, a CNNIndonesia.com journalist who was reporting from Jl. Jatibaru, Central Jakarta. He was recording a video of the police capture of suspected provocateurs. The police confiscated his mobile phone and asked him to erase the video.

Ryan was hit on the face, neck, upper right hand, and shoulders by members of the Mobile Brigade and people in civilian uniforms. They also used sticks to beat him.

The police had continued the assault even though Budi and Ryan had identified themselves as journalists and showed their press cards as proof.

The journalists were also assaulted by the protesters. They persecuted the journalists and seized their equipment including camera, mobile phone, and recorder. The protesters forced the journalists to delete all photo and video documentation. Some journalists reported that they had also been beaten by the protesters.

AJI Jakarta and the Press Legal Aid Institute (LBH Pers) strongly condemn the assault on journalists as well as attempts to impede them in their work by both the police and protesters.

Intimidation on journalists reporting a riot may be construed as censorship on journalism. It is a criminal offense as specified in Paragraph 18 of Law No. 40 of 1999 on the Press, which stipulates that anyone who obstructs the freedom of the press is punishable by no more than two years imprisonment and no more than IDR 500 million (about USD 34,400) in fines.

We urge the security forces and the public to respect and support the climate of freedom of the press, and to refrain from intimidating and impeding journalists who are on field duty.

We also appeal to the heads of media organization to take responsibility and to prioritize the safety of their journalists. No news is worth the loss of life.

On this incident AJI Jakarta and LBH Pers issue the following statement:

  1. We urge the security forces to fully investigate the violence and intimidation against journalists by the police and members of the public.
  2. We appeal to the heads of media organizations to take responsibility over the safety of journalists on field duty.
  3. We appeal to journalists covering the mass protests to put safety first by staying at safe distance during a riot.

Jakarta, 22 May 2019

Asnil Bambani Amri (AJI Jakarta Chairman) +62 81374439365
Ade Wahyudin (LBH Pers Executive Director) ‭+62 857 73238190
Erick Tanjung (AJI Jakarta Head of Advocation Division)  +62 8118109277

 

 

Usut Tuntas Kasus Kekerasan Jurnalis Saat Meliput Aksi 22 Mei

Wajah kebebasan pers di Indonesia kembali tercoreng dengan tindak kekerasan dan intimidasi terhadap jurnalis saat meliput aksi di sekitar Gedung Bawaslu, Jakarta, yang berujung ricuh pada Rabu (22/5).

Berdasarkan verifikasi tim Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI) Jakarta, setidaknya hingga saat ini terdapat tujuh jurnalis yang mengalami kekerasan, intimidasi dan persekusi sejak dini hari hingga pagi tadi.

Mereka di antaranya, Budi Tanjung (Jurnalis CNNIndonesia TV), Ryan (CNNIndonesia.com), Ryan (Jurnalis MNC Media), Fajar (Jurnalis Radio Sindo Trijaya), Fadli Mubarok (Jurnalis Alinea.id), dan dua jurnalis RTV yaitu reporter dan kameramen.

Tak menutup kemungkinan, masih banyak jurnalis lainnya yang menjadi korban. Sampai saat ini AJI Jakarta masih mengumpulkan data dan verifikasi para jurnalis yang menjadi korban.

Peristiwa itu terjadi saat sejumlah jurnalis meliput di sekitar Gedung Bawaslu. Mereka dilarang aparat kepolisian saat merekam aksi penangkapan orang-orang yang diduga sebagai provokator massa.

Budi Tanjung, kontributor CNN TV Indonesia, salah satunya. Budi dipukul di bagian kepala dan rekaman videonya di ponsel dihapus oleh beberapa anggota Brimob di depan Gereja Kristen Indonesia (GKI) Jl Wahid Hasyim, Jakarta Pusat, pada Rabu dini hari.

Peristiwa kekerasan lainnya juga dialami jurnalis CNNIndonesia.com, Ryan saat meliput di Jalan Jatibaru, Jakarta Pusat. Saat itu, Ryan sedang merekam aksi polisi yang menangkap provokator massa. Namun, polisi merebut ponselnya dan meminta menghapus video.

Ryan dipukul di bagian wajah, leher, lengan kanan bagian atas, dan bahu oleh beberapa anggota Brimob dan orang berseragam bebas. Mereka juga menggunakan tongkat untuk memukul Ryan.

Aparat kepolisian tetap melakukan kekerasan walaupun Budi dan Ryan mengaku sebagai jurnalis, bahkan telah menunjukkan identitasnya sebagai jurnalis.

Kekerasan terhadap jurnalis juga dilakukan oleh massa aksi. Mereka melakukan persekusi dan merampas peralatan kerja jurnalis seperti kamera, telepon genggam, dan alat perekam. Massa memaksa jurnalis untuk menghapus semua dokumentasi berupa foto maupun video. Beberapa jurnalis  bahkan mengalami tindak kekerasan fisik berupa pemukulan.

AJI Jakarta dan LBH Pers mengecam keras aksi kekerasan dan upaya penghalangan kerja jurnalis yang dilakukan oleh aparat kepolisian maupun massa aksi.

Tindakan yang mengintimidasi jurnalis saat meliput peristiwa kerusuhan itu bisa dikategorikan sebagai sensor terhadap produk jurnalistik. Perbuatan itu termasuk pelanggaran pidana yang diatur dalam Pasal 18 UU Nomor 40 Tahun 1999 Tentang Pers. Setiap orang yang menghalangi kebebasan pers diancam penjara maksimal dua tahun, dan denda maksimal Rp500 juta.

Kami mendesak aparat keamanan dan masyarakat untuk menghormati dan mendukung iklim kemerdekaan pers, tanpa ada intimidasi serta menghalangi kerja jurnalis di lapangan.

Kami juga mengimbau kepada para pimpinan media massa untuk bertanggung jawab menjaga dan mengutamakan keselamatan jurnalisnya. Sebab, tidak ada berita seharga nyawa.

Atas peristiwa tersebut AJI Jakarta dan LBH Pers menyatakan dan menyerukan:

  1. Mendesak aparat kepolisian untuk mengusut tuntas kekerasan dan intimidasi terhadap jurnalis, baik oleh polisi maupun kelompok warga.
  2. Mengimbau kepada para pemimpin media untuk bertanggung jawab atas keselamatan jurnalis saat bertugas di lapangan.
  3. Mengimbau para jurnalis yang meliput aksi massa untuk mengutamakan keselamatan dengan menjaga jarak saat terjadi kerusuhan.

Jakarta, 22 Mei 2019

Asnil Bambani Amri, (Ketua AJI Jakarta) +62 81374439365

Ade Wahyudin (Direktur Eksekutif LBH Pers) ‭+62 857 73238190‬

Erick Tanjung (Ketua Divisi Advokasi AJI Jakarta) +62 8118109277

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