Indonesia: Journalist subjected to death threats for Joko Widodo story

A journalist from one of Indonesia’s largest digital media companies, DetikCom received death threats following their coverage of Indonesian president Joko Widodo’s plan to visit a shopping centre to prepare for easing Covid-19 restrictions. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Indonesia call on authorities to investigate the incidents.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo visits a shopping mall in Bekasi, east of Jakarta on May 26, 2020, to inspect measures the city has taken amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Credit: EDWIN PUTRANTO / AFP

DetikCom published an article on May 26 looking at Widodo’s planned visit to a Bekasi city shopping centre in West Java to review the government plans to relax Covid-19 restrictions, termed the ‘new normal’ health protocols. The government later amended a statement in the article regarding the purpose and location of Widodo’s visit. 

While DetikCom revised the publication to reflect the change, the author of the article received anonymous death threats on WhatsApp and had their personal information shared on Facebook and Youtube. The reporter also received several food deliveries despite not ordering any food.  

AJI said: “AJI urges the authorities to start an investigation immediately. AJI also demands the Indonesian Press Council to actively involved to resolve the violence against journalists and calls the newsroom to ensure the safety of journalist and the family.”

The IFJ said: “Under no circumstances is it acceptable to send a journalist death threats, maliciously publish their information online or have them stalked. The IFJ urges authorities to investigate the harassment of the journalist and ensure their safety.”

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

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

Twitter: @ifjasiapacific, on Facebook: IFJAsiaPacific and Instagram