Violence against journalists in Indonesia a threat to press freedom

[Source: AJI]

On 16 September, Angga Octaviardi was assaulted whilst performing his duties as a cameraman for television station Trans7 in South Jakarta.

The media worker was recording a brawl between students from two high schools when the students allegedly demanded that he stop recording. After his refusal he was assaulted violently and the video recording of the attack was stolen.

At the time of the attack he was wearing a uniform and an ID card that clearly marked him as a journalist.

On 28 July, journalist Syarifah Nur Aida was violently assaulted whilst reporting on a land dispute between residents of the Rumpin District, Bogor and the local Air Force Airport.

The TempoTV employee was attacked from behind, giving her no chance to identify a suspect. Her camera’s memory card was also stolen.

After the incident an officer from the Air Force Airport came to a local residence housing the journalists to inquire about their identity and personal details.

AJI expresses their concern about continuing violence against journalists as a barrier to freedom of expression. It is imperative that the perpetrators of these violent attacks be apprehended and brought to justice.

AJI condemns the use of violence as a tactic of intimidation and remind those responsible that whosoever obstructs the journalists’ work is subject to criminal sanction under Press Law no. 40/1999.

In the case of minors, AJI considers it crucial that the school system put an education program in place on the importance of journalistic works and press freedom.

 


The Allansi Jurnalis Independen (Alliance of Independent Journalists or AJI) (http://ajiindonesia.org/) is a founding member  of SEAPA. Based in Jakarta, Indonesia, AJI seeks to promote press freedom and protect the rights of Indonesian journalists.

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