On December 7, 2018, President Joko Widodo issued the Presidential Decree No. 29/2018 to lowering the sentence of I Nyoman Susrama, the killer of Radar Bali journalist Anak Agung Gde Bagus Narendra Prabangsa. Based on the decree, Susrama’s sentence commuted from a life sentence to 20 years imprisonment.
IFJ together with AJI and Indonesian colleagues have sent a letter of complaint tpthe President urging him withdraw the pardon. Also presented were letter of complaints received from AJI chapters throughout Indonesia as well as as online petition signed by more than 46,000. The letters and petition were presented to the Ministry of Law and Human Rights in Jakarta on Friday, February 8.
Prabangsa was killed when he investigated corruption in the local department in education. His death shows that the country failed to protect journalists whilst they are doing their job, providing the information to the public. The sentence of the murderer of Prabangsa was among the very few of journalists killing that had been resolved. According to the data from the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Indonesia, there are still eight unsolved murder of journalists. One of them is the murder of Bernas daily journalist Fuad Muhammad Syafruddin in 1996.
Chairman of AJI, Abdul Manan, said the concerns expressed from different organisations has shown that the reduction of Susrama’s sentence is not only a major issue for journalists community but also widespread to general public.
“The huge supports we received since Susrama received the pardon is a strong message for the President Joko Widodo to reconsider his decision and retract the remission,” Abdul said.
The IFJ said: “We stand with AJI and our Indonesian colleagues in urging President Joko Widodo to use his Presidential power to retract the pardon granted to I Nyoman Susrama and ensure he serves the life sentence for the heinous crime for which he was found guilty. In doing so, Indonesian government will be taking a stand to support and guarantee press freedom, journalist safety and a commitment to end impunity in the country.”