Aliansi Jurnalis Independen

Rising violence against journalists
January 4, 2007, 2:33 pm
Filed under: Kliping

January 04, 2007
Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI)

The increasing acts of violence against the press are another matter requiring immediate action from the government, AJI said. It urged the police to fully investigate murders and other violence committed against journalists and bring the perpetrators to justice.

AJI recorded 53 cases of violence against the press from January to December 2006, an increase from 43 cases in the year before. AJI said the increased violence has put Indonesia at a low rank of 103 out of 168 countries in the 2006 Reporters Without Borders’s (RSF) press freedom index.

Jakarta was the most dangerous place for journalists (16 cases), followed by East Java (seven cases) and West Java (six cases). The types of violence range from physical abuse to harassment against the profession. Physical abuse topped the list (28 cases), followed by lawsuits against press (seven cases).

The biggest perpetrators of violence against the press were mobs (15 cases), followed by government apparatus (seven cases) and police apparatus (seven cases). AJI said attention should be given to the fact that the culture of violence has shifted “from the New Order-inherited state and apparatus to mobs of ordinary people”. AJI condemned violence from any party and expressed concern that the perpetrators included government and police officers, who should be setting a good example in resolving issues in civilised ways.

AJI also marked the beginning of the year by recalling three unsolved murder cases of journalists. Those killed were Fuad Muhammad Syafruddin of “Bernas” daily in Yogyakarta, on 16 August 1996; Elyudin Telaumbanua of “Berita Sore” daily in Medan, who was kidnapped on 24 August 2005 and later suspected killed; and Herliyanto, a freelance journalist in Probolinggo, East Java, on 29 April 2006.


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