International Mission calls for action almost two decades after journalist murder

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate Aliansi Jurnalis Indepeden (AJI) and the International Partnership Mission for Indonesia (IPMI) in calling on the Indonesian government to investigate the murder of Indonesian journalist, Fuad Muhammad Syafruddin (Udin). The IFJ calls for immediate action and justice for Udin.On August 13, 1996, Udin, a journalist with Bernas newspaper was attacked by two men outside his house, in Yogyakarta in central Java. Three days later on August 16, Udin died from his injuries in hospital. Following his death, Yogyakarta police launched an investigation which initially tried to claim that the death was the result of an extra-martial affair. Dwi Sumaji ('Iwik') was arrested and charged within murder in 1997, however the Bantul State Court soon acquitted Iwik due to lack of evidence.Investigations have since focused on political motivations after Udin wrote reports about cases of misappropriation allegedly committed by then Bantul regency administration officials. In recent years, minimal action has to been taken to investigate the murder.In a letter to Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, the IPMI said: “Attacks against journalists are violations to the right to expression itself, and impunity for the murder of journalists threatens Indonesia’s democracy. Nineteen years on, Udin’s unsolved murder  on places Indonesia’s human rights record into question. Official inaction perpetuates impunity, and in Udin’s case it has left family, friends and colleagues without justice for nearly two decades. Udin’s unresolved murder is not an isolated case, and it reflects a wider culture of impunity in crimes against journalists.”“The IMPI reiterates that Indonesia has an obligation under The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to investigate Udin’s murder properly, and to protect the right of journalists to practise their profession in safety. We urge you to press upon Indonesian police to launch a properly resourced investigation into Udin’s killers. We further call on the Indonesian government to invoke a provision under the Constitutional Court to investigate the mishandling of the initial investigation” said the IMPI.The IFJ said: “We join the International Mission in calling for an investigation into Udin’s murder. 19 years is too long for no investigation and has become a significant case in terms of Indonesia’s press freedom record.  Udin’s unresolved murder case reflects a wider culture of impunity in crimes against journalists.”To see the full list of recommendations from the IPMI click here.

The International Partnership Mission for Indonesia includes:

Aliansi Jurnalis IndependenARTICLE 19Committee to Protect JournalistsCentre for Law and DemocracyIndonesia LBH Pers Network International Federation of JournalistsInternational Media SupportSoutheast Asian Press AllianceTifa Foundation 

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

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 134 countries

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