IFJ Concerned By Worrying Trend of Violence Against Journalists In Indonesia

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is deeply disturbed by the high rate of violence against media workers in Indonesia, according to data released by IFJ affiliate, the Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI).

Coinciding with its 12th anniversary of defending journalist’s rights and press freedom, AJI released its data citing 64 cases of attacks against journalists in the country in the last year.

“This worrying trend of violence against journalists, as exposed by AJI’s data, must not be tolerated. It is vital that these records are noted and action is taken to ensure these assaults on press freedom no longer continue and those responsible for these cowardly attacks are held accountable,” IFJ President Christopher Warren said.

According to AJI’s data, in the period between August 2005 and August 2006, one journalist was murdered, one abducted, one imprisoned and 34 assaulted. Disturbingly, 12 journalists were intimidated and seven faced lawsuits.

The data indicates that the places the most dangerous places were Jakarta, East Java and Nangglore Aceh Darussalam where there were 13, eight and eight cases of violence against journalists respectively.

AJI records show that most press violations were committed by mobs with 23 cases of mob assaults. Government officials were responsible for 14 acts of violence and police with eight.

“It is deeply concerning that violence is going unchecked. The Indonesian government must do more to make it clear that attacks on journalists is anathema to democracy,” Warren said.

The IFJ supports AJI’s calls for the government and the broader Indonesian community to respect the rights of journalists to report freely, as stipulated by the 1945 Constitution and the Press Law Number 40 Year 1999, without fear of violence.

“The IFJ commends AJI for the release of such comprehensive data that exposes attacks on journalists in Indonesia in the last year,” Warren said

“We also send our congratulations to AJI for 12 years of tireless dedication to improving the professional and economic rights of journalists, journalists’ safety and defending press freedom.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 120 countries