Indonesia: Female journalist sexually assaulted by football supporter

A female journalist was sexually assaulted by a football supporter while covering a match between two local teams in Maguwoharjo stadium, Sleman, Yogyakarta, on July 7. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Indonesia, in condemning the sexual harassment and urging the authorities to bring the perpetrator to justice.

Activists protest for women's rights on International Women's Day 8 March, 2022 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Credit: Adek Berry / AFP

A female journalist for local online media website,, was assaulted and harassed when a football supporter groped her chest on July 7, outside the ‘tribune’ area of the stadium.

The journalist shared the incident with two other reporters present at the match, and conveyed the assault to the stadium stewards, who attempted to locate the perpetrator.

At the beginning of the game’s second half, the alleged perpetrator was brought to the stadium media centre by officials for a meeting with the journalist, lasting more than two hours. The man initially denied the sexual harassment of the female journalist, but later admitted to the incident, stating that he was under the influence of alcohol.

The perpetrator agreed to sign an apology statement to the journalist, at her request.

In the following days, the journalist and her relatives received ‘intimidating’ messages from the perpetrator and others through direct messages on social media. The female journalist said she now feels unsafe and anxious, especially when covering other matches or reporting in a crowd.

A study released in January 2021 by the AJI Jakarta chapter, found that Indonesian journalists are vulnerable to sexual violence and misconduct. Approximately seventy four percent of female and male journalists surveyed had experienced some form of sexual assault or harassment relating to their professional work.

In March 2022, the IFJ launched the results of two surveys to assess the work of trade unions and media organisations in tackling online abuse, finding that two-thirds of respondents claimed online harassment was not a priority for their media company. An IFJ survey conducted in 2018 showed that only half of the victims of online abuse (53%) reported the attacks to their media management, union or the police, and in two-thirds of the cases nothing was done.

AJI Indonesia said: “Harassment and attacks against journalists cannot be tolerated. AJI Indonesia opposes various forms of violence against journalists. What the perpetrator did was obstruct the journalist’s work and violate the Press Law. AJI Indonesia demands the authorities to punish the perpetrator.”

The IFJ said: “The IFJ urges local authorities to take immediate action against the case of sexual assault and bring the perpetrator to justice. All journalists working in the field must be able to report safely and securely, without fear of harassment.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on [email protected]

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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