The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AIJ), in expressing concern over the Indonesian Government’s censorship of the video-sharing website YouTube.
According to AJI, the Ministry for Communication and Information Technology instructed all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Network Access Providers (NAPs) in the country to block access to YouTube.
The directive follows a previous request from the Ministry that YouTube remove an anti-Islamic film, Fitna, by Danish politician Geert Wilders, from its site by the end of last week. The company has not complied with the request.
Indonesia’s secular government is reportedly worried that access to the video in Muslim majority Indonesia could threaten the country’s inter-faith harmony.
Several ISPs in Indonesia, including XL, BigNet, D-Net, FastNet IndoNet and Speedy Telkom, complied with the Government’s request by blocking access to the site and blogs that show the film, AJI reported on April 7.
In solidarity with AJI, the IFJ calls on the Government to recognise that the request to block material infringes upon the rights of internet users and is in conflict with the principles of freedom of expression and the right to information.
“Free access and flow of information is important because it entails the ability of citizens to make up their own minds and engage in debate and dialogue on matters of controversy,” said IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries