Indonesia: Politician charges senior journalist for allegedly spreading misinformation

An Indonesian Solidarity Party politician sues journalist Farid Gaban for his critique of Teten Masduki, minister of Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The International Federation of Journalists and its affiliate the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Indonesia urge authorities to retract the charges.

Tweet posted by Farid Gaban on May 2, 2020. Credit: Farid Gaba / Twitter

On May 2, Farid tweeted criticism of Teten Masduki, writing “People help the people; the rulers help entrepreneurs. How about this, Kang Teten Masduki? How low can you go?”. Muannas Alaidid, an Indonesian Solidarity Party politician, filed a police report against Farid on May 27 alleging he spread false and misleading information on social media. Muannas is the chairman of the Indonesian Cyber, an organisation known for filing reports against prominent public figures

Despite the charges, Teten accepted Farid’s criticism explaining that the ministry needs to expand its cooperation with different partners to tackle new challenges. 

AJI said: “AJI urge Muannas to withdraw the police report and call the police to not proceed the report. What Farid did was exercising his rights as a citizen to express his opinion and Indonesian constitution protects those rights."

The IFJ said: “The IFJ condemns the use of filing a lawsuit to silence journalists. It is critical for government officials and politicians to respect citizens and journalists freedom of expression and withdraw the lawsuit."

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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