IFJ Demands Reinstatement of Unfairly Sacked Journalist in Indonesia

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is outraged by the sacking and illegal treatment of an Indonesian journalist known for his campaigning for higher media standards.

According to IFJ affiliate, the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), Bambang Wisudo was fired by his employer, KOMPAS Daily, on December 8 after refusing to be reassigned to Ambon, Maluku Province.

AJI reports that KOMPAS tried to budge Wisudo in order to dilute his efforts as Secretary of the KOMPAS Trade Union (PKK), where he struggled to institute changes to management policies in an attempt to lift the quality of KOMPAS’ reportage.

“It is a sad day when a journalist who has given 15 years of loyal service to a newspaper can be dismissed, unlawfully treated, and despised for his efforts to improve important media standards,” IFJ President Christopher Warren said.

According to AJI, KOMPAS security personnel forcibly removed Wisudo from the KOMPAS office and detained him in a holding cell for several hours until the delivery of a dismissal letter signed by the KOMPAS editor in chief, Suryopratomo.

AJI reports that the actions of KOMPAS Daily against Wisudo are prohibited by the Indonesian Constitution and Labour Law, exposing the company to possible criminal sanctions.

“The IFJ calls for KOMPAS to immediately reinstate Wisudo and to launch a review of its management, which has shown incredible disrespect towards its employees and acted illegally on several counts,” the IFJ president said.

The IFJ supports AJI in their demands for KOMPAS Daily to do the following:

· Reinstate Wisudo to his former position at PT KOMPAS Media Nusantara.

· Recognise Wisudo's role as secretary of the PKK.

· Rescind the decision to send Wisudo to Ambon, Maluku Province and abandon its continued policy of union member relocation.

· Respect the right of employees to form and elect representatives to trade unions without intimidation.

· Conduct a thorough, transparent investigation of the events listed herein and take decisive corrective action against its internal security personnel.

“The time has come for media owners to acknowledge the full right of their employees to participate in trade unions, and to cease the relentless intimidation and efforts at silencing those most active among the unions,” Warren said.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 115 countries