Indonesia: Two journalists assaulted during Independence Day ceremony

Two journalists were assaulted by public order agency officers while covering an Independence Day ceremony in Palu, Central Sulawesi on August 17. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Indonesia, in condemning the attacks and urges Indonesian authorities to hold those responsible to account.

Two women at a protest calling for the protection of journalists in Indonesia on April 8, 2021. Credit: AJI Indonesia

Regina Goldie Jolinda Amoreka, a journalist with online news outlet Tribun Palu, was reporting on Indonesia’s 77th Independence Day ceremony and had moved to quiet spot in the invitee’s area to conduct a live broadcast of the event.

Amoreka was then approached by an officer of the public order agency (Satpol PP) and asked to move to an area assigned to members of the Palu Communication and Information Technology Agency.

After arriving at the new location, another officer grabbed Amoreka’s shoulder and seized her mobile phone.

In a separate incident, Katrin, a local journalist with online news outlet, was asked by a public order agency officer to stop photographing the ceremony. The officer then ordered Katrin to move away from the area where she was standing, touching her shoulder multiple times, and pulling at her bag.

The harassment of Amoreka and Katrin is the latest evidence of the poor working conditions faced by Indonesian journalists, particularly women journalists. In July, a female journalist was sexually assaulted by a football supporter while covering a match between two local teams at Maguwoharjo stadium in Sleman, Yogyakarta.

The AJI said: “The AJI demands that authorities bring the perpetrators to justice and urges everyone to respect journalists’ roles, including female journalists who face harassment.”

The IFJ said: “Women journalists experience daily challenges carrying out their work in Indonesia, including harassment, intimidation, and assault. The IFJ urges the Indonesian authorities to take immediate action to hold the officers involved in these incidents to account and ensure the safety and security of all media workers.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on [email protected]

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

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