IFJ Demands Full Inquiry into Environmental Reporter’s Death in Indonesia

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is troubled and saddened to learn of the death

of Muhammad Syaifullah, who headed the Borneo bureau of Kompas, Indonesia’s biggest daily



Syaifullah, a well-known journalist who reported on

environmental issues, was found dead on July 26 at his rented home in Balikpapan, East

Kalimantan Province.


The last report by Syaifullah, who reported extensively on

illegal logging and environmental destruction in the region, focused on

problems relating to coal mining in Borneo.


“The IFJ calls on Indonesia’s national authorities to

conduct a prompt, full and transparent forensic inquiry into Muhammad

Syaifullah’s death,” IFJ Asia-Pacific

Director Jacqueline Park said.


“The inquiry must be free of any presumption of the cause of

death until the investigation is properly completed.”


The cause of Syaifullah’s death remains uncertain. Found by

colleagues after his family could not contact him for some days, Syaifullah’s body

was discovered in the living room of his home. Police found a glass of syrup

near the body.


An autopsy at Bhayangkari

Hospital concluded

Syaifullah died of a brain haemorrhage caused by diabetes and hypertension,

according to reports.


However, the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), an

IFJ affiliate, reports that friends of the dead man reported they were unaware

that Syaifullah had such a medical condition. AJI understands that police plan

to conduct a further autopsy in Surabaya, East Java.



For further information contact IFJ

Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919


The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125



Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific