Indonesia: Journalist abused for reporting on bribery

A Tempo journalist in the East Java was assaulted and threatened for investigating a case of alleged bribery involving the former director of investigations and tax collections at Indonesia’s Finance Ministry. The IFJ and its affiliate AJI condemn violence and intimidation of journalists in Indonesia and implore all authorities to respect press freedom.

Journalist of Tempo Nurhadi (from left) finishes visum et repertum at the Bhayangkara Hospital, Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia on March 28. Credit: AJI Indonesia.

On March 29, the journalist Nurhadi is reported to have entered the wedding of the daughter of the former director, Angin Prayitno Aji, to collect information for his report on bribery when two men believed to be Angin’s personal bodyguards accused him of trespassing, despite him showing his press card.

Nurhadi said that the bodyguards then assaulted him. The journalist “had his hair pulled, was slapped in the face and ears, punched and trodden on” and was held captive for two hours inside a hotel room in Surabaya. During his detainment, Nurhadi’s mobile phone was seized and smashed and the bodyguards reset the memory on his computer, which contained information regarding the corruption case.

The assault raises fresh concerns over violence against journalists in Indonesia. The case has been reported to East Java regional police with the assistance of Surabaya Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) and other civil society groups.

The chairperson of AJI Surabaya, Eben Haezer, said: "We condemn this act of violence and urge law enforcement officials to be professional in handling this case, especially considering that some of the perpetrators were law enforcement officers."

The IFJ said, “Indonesia’s authorities must stand up for the rule of law and investigate this matter in order to demonstrate their commitment to public safety for all.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on ifj@ifj-asia.org

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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