Radio Station Closure Threatens Democracy in Indonesia

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has concerns over people’s access to information following the forced closure of PT Radio Gelora Tavlul in Southeast Maluku, Indonesia.

According to information received by the IFJ from its affiliate in Indonesia, Aliansi Jurnalis Independent (AJI), the Southeast Maluku Regent sent a letter on December 14, revoking the licence and banning activities of Gelora Tavlul Radio in Southeast Maluku Regency.

The letter threatened to seal off the radio station and to revoke the business area licence of the management of Gelora Tavlul if they did not stop broadcasting within 24 hours.

PT Radio Gelora Tavlul was established in 2003 and is the biggest private radio in Southeast Maluku outside of RRI (Radio Republik Indonesia). The station broadcasts talk shows and news and current affairs programs and is popular for its critical reporting, particularly of local government.

The shut down will affect 20,000 Southeast Maluku citizens who rely on PT Radio Gelora Tavlul for their news and information.

The IFJ supports AJI’s campaign calling for the reinstatement of Gelora Tavlul Radio’s business licence and to revoke its broadcasting ban.

In addition, AJI and the IFJ are calling for a legal guarantee and protection for the management of Gelora Tavlul Radio to carry out its broadcasting activities.

“By shutting down Radio Gelora Tavlul the Southeast Maluku Regent is attempting to silence dissenting voices across the regency,” said IFJ president Christopher Warren.

The attempt to intervene in the public’s right to know contravenes against article 28 of the Indonesian Constitution and the Press Law number 40/1999.

“Without a well informed and engaged public, true democracy is unable to flourish and survive,” said Warren.

“Radio Gelora Tavlul was that voice of democracy in Southeast Maluku,” said Warren.

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

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries