IFJ Alarmed by Police Campaign to Criminalise Media in Indonesia


The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is alarmed that a police chief in Indonesia’s South Sulewesi

has singled out a leading campaigner against criminalisation of the press for

alleged criminal libel and defamation.


The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), an IFJ

affiliate, reports that the head of the South Sulawesi Regional Police Office,

Police Inspector General Sisno Adiwinoto, has accused Upi Asmaradana, the

coordinator of the Coalition of Journalists against Criminalisation of the

Press, of criminal libel and defamation.


Upi was charged on November 10 under several articles on

libel and defamation in Indonesia’s

Criminal Code.


The coalition led by Upi was set up in response to

Adiwinoto’s regular statements promoting criminalisation of the media. It has

reported its concerns to the National Police Commission, the National

Parliament, the National Commission of Human Rights, Indonesia’s Press Council and the

President, according to AJI.


Upi, who is a member of AJI’s Makassar Chapter and a former

Metro TV contributor, is alleged to have “provoked journalists to resist the head

of the South Sulawesi Regional Police Office”.


Upi was interrogated by police on September 17 regarding a dispute

between journalists in Makassar and Adiwinoto.

In June, AJI reported that Adiwinoto had publicly advised people with complaints

against the media to file police reports rather than use the Press Law’s

complaint and resolution procedures.


“The IFJ is extremely concerned that a senior police

official is abusing his position by actively seeking to criminalise journalists

and the media,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.


“The IFJ calls on national authorities in Indonesia to

take immediate action to discipline Inspector General Sisno Adiwinoto and to order

him immediately to desist from his efforts to undermine constructive efforts to

handle complaints against the media without resort to criminal charges.”  


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919


The IFJ represents

over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries