IFJ Demands Withdrawal of Defamation Case Against Indonesia’s Tempo

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the Alliance of

Independent Journalists (AJI), in demanding the withdrawal of criminal defamation

charges against Tempo magazine.

 

The charges relate to Tempo’s June 28 cover story, entitled “Fat

Bank Accounts of Police Officers”, on alleged suspicious bank accounts held by

several high-ranking police officers.

 

The issue featured an illustration

showing a uniformed policeman with piggy banks. The caricature prompted Indonesia’s

police headquarters to file criminal defamation charges against Tempo with the Police Criminal Unit, an

institution under the authority of the national police.

 

Articles 207 and 208 of Indonesia’s Criminal Code cover criminal

defamation and are well-known as a legal tactic used to attempt to muzzle the

press in Indonesia.

 

“The IFJ is concerned that the

charges filed by the police, now in the hands of the Police Criminal Unit,

constitute a conflict of interest, as there is little guarantee of impartiality

in the handling of the case,” IFJ Asia-Pacific

Director Jacqueline Park said.

 

“The IFJ joins AJI in strongly recommending

that Indonesia’s police headquarters would be better served by pursuing

procedures stipulated under Press Law No. 40/1999, which allows for right of reply

or to file a complaint with the Indonesian Press Council.”

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125 countries