Journalist harassed by military personnel in East Java

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has been alerted to an incident of violence against a journalist in Indonesia via Indonesian affiliate, Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI). AJI reports that on Sunday, October 2 in Madiun, in East Java province, a journalist from a local television network Net TV was physically attacked and forced to relinquish his camera footage and identity cards to members of the military. 

Soni Misdananto was reporting at an Islamic New Year festival when an incident occurred in which a military vehicle collided with a civilian’s vehicle. Military personnel allegedly proceeded to beat “the people involved in the incident”. The Jakarta Globe reports that the personnel involved were from the “Army’s Yonif Para 501 unit, tasked with safeguarding the event”.

It is alleged that when Army members became aware of Misdananto’s coverage of the event, they took the reporter away, interrogating him and destroying his video camera and memory card before continuing to threaten and harass him.

The local AJI Medan chapter has deployed a team to investigate the case and to check on Misdananto’s condition and treatment and ensure the case is reported to police.

Last month a similar case of violence against journalists by military members was recorded in Medan, North Sumatra. As many as seven journalists were allegedly attacked, and one (a female) was sexually harassed by members of the Air Force.

IFJ will update on AJI’s investigations as more details are confirmed.

For futher information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946

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