Pacific Media Watch

5 August 2019

INDONESIA: No case of violence against journalists prosecuted by police, says AJI

A police officer kicks photographer Ikshan Arham of the Rakyat Sulsel newspaper during a student protest at Makassar State University on November 13, 2014. Police allegedly assaulted 10 journalists that day, but no officers have been prosecuted for those abuses. © 2014 Hasrul Said/Radar Makassar /Human Rights Watch

By Rosseno Aji
JAKARTA (Tempo/Pacific Media Watch):
The Jakarta Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) says that there has been 26 cases of alleged violence against journalists in Indonesia reported to police so far in 2019 but not one has been fully investigated, let alone taken to trial.

"They haven't reached the criminal investigation stage, let alone the courts", said AJI Jakarta advocacy head Erick Tanjung during a discussion at the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) offices in Jakarta on Sunday.

According to Tanjung, 20 of these reports relate to violence against journalists during the May 22 post-election riots in Jakarta. In one of the cases the perpetrator was the police.

Five other cases related to an evening gathering of Islamic groups at the National Monument (Monas) in Central Jakarta - dubbed the Munajat 212 - on February 21, and one relates to an assault on a journalist during a sentence hearing against notorious gang leader Hercules Rozario Marshal on March 27.

Tanjung said that the alleged cases violence against journalists was both direct and indirect and took the form of physical assaults, the seizure of equipment, the forced deletion of photographs and persecution on the internet.

Meanwhile in resolving cases of alleged violence against journalists by police, Tanjung said that the AJI had already pursued ethnical channels by reporting the case to the police's professionalism and security division (Propam), but the report was not followed up.

Tanjung also criticised the role of the mass media and journalists who themselves have been victims of volume.

Out of the 26 cases of violence against journalists only two reporters or victims were prepared to be assisted by AJI in making reports with police.

Yet Tanjung is of the view that journalists need to push for cases of violence against them being resolved legally so that they are not repeated.

Translated by James Balowski for Indoleft News. The original title of the article was AJI Jakarta: 26 Kasus Kekerasan terhadap Wartawan Tak Diproses.

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