IFJ Welcomes Court's Rejection of Indonesia Libel Case

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomes a decision by

the South Jakarta Supreme Court to reject a libel suit against local newspaper Koran Tempo by Islamic Troop commander



Munarman reportedly filed the civil suit in relation to images published

in Koran Tempo on June 3 last year depicting

the commander strangling a man during a rally on June 1 in at the Monas National Monument

in Jakarta.  


The judge dismissed the suit on the basis that Munarman’s claims were

unsatisfactory, and said Koran Tempo had acted in accordance with

the 1999 Press Law, local news

reports said.


“The judge’s decision to consider the complaint against Koran Tempo through the lens of Indonesia’s

Press Law is a positive sign that the issues of defamation and libel can be

dealt with adequately through civil law,”

IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline

Park said.


Complaints against media workers in Indonesia can be filed under

Articles 311 and 317 of the Criminal Code as well as the civil Press Law.


Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI), an IFJ affiliate, has campaigned strongly for complaints against

the media to be dealt with under the Press Law, rather than the Criminal Code.


However, criminal defamation

and libel cases continue to be filed despite a 2005 Supreme Court decision to

set jurisprudence of the Press Law for the settlement of all media disputes.


“It is encouraging that the Indonesian judiciary has chosen in this case

to refer to the Press Law,

reinforcing the non-criminal nature of the complaint,”

Park said.


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919



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