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
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.”
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents
over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries