Military Officer Sentenced for Assaulting Journalist in Indonesia

 The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has welcomed the successful prosecution of a

former Indonesian military intelligence officer who severely assaulted a

journalist in Banda Aceh, in the country’s west but has called the relatively

lenient 10-month prison sentence into question.

 

In a military tribunal hearing on

January 21 at the Iskandar Muda Military Commandin Banda Aceh, First LieutenantFaizal Amin

was found guilty of grievous assault for an attack on Ahmadi, a reporter with Harian

Aceh. Amin was also sentenced for

damaging the journalist’s laptop computer and mobile phone and for using a

military-issued weapon to threaten Ahmadi’s life.

 

Military prosecutors had originally sought

a five-year sentence for the attack on Ahmadi, who says he is happy with the

sentence and has forgiven his attacker, according to local media reports.

 

Ahmadi

was beaten and threatened in the May

21, 2010 attack for publishing an article linking the police and military

to illegal logging. Amin had earlier warned Ahmadi not to publish the story when

the journalist approached him for comment. In the attack Ahmadi was struck in

the face, asked to remove his clothes and shot at three times, and death

threats made against his family.

 

 “While

the IFJ welcomes the sentencing of Amin, questions need to be asked about the

severity of the punishment in this case,” IFJ Asia-Pacific

Director Jacqueline Park said.

 

“A history of impunity for crimes

against journalists and media workers is difficult to overcome, and it is

crucial that punishments adequately match the crime.”

.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ represents 600,000 journalists in 125 countries

 

Find the IFJ

on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

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