A journalist has alleged that a village head sent a mob to attack his home, leading to the death of his one-month-old baby, in retribution for a news report he made about alleged graft in his village.
Rote Ndao News journalist Dance Henukh said Wednesday he reported allegations of corruption surrounding the allocation of village funds (ADD) and resettlement and transmigration program funds totaling Rp 3.1 billion (US$341,000), implicating Kuli village head Yunus O Dillak in East Nusa Tenggara.
“Justice must be served so that there will be no threats against journalists in the future,” Dance, who lives in the same village, Rote Ndao regency, told The Jakarta Post over the phone.
“A number of people came to my house on Saturday at around 4 a.m. local time [2 a.m. Jakarta time] and threatened me,” he said. “They said that they would kill me and set my house on fire.”
Dance said he immediately informed the Rote Ndao Police about the threat.
However, the police disregarded his complaint because they said they did not have enough evidence to arrest those who threatened him because the people had already left when the police arrived on the scene, he said.
Dance said that the mob attacked his house on Sunday at around at 1 a.m., with stones and pieces of wood that damaged parts of the house.
“My baby died at around 3 a.m.,” Dance said.
According to Yemris Fointuna, the head of the Kupang chapter of the Independent Journalists Association (AJI), Dance’s baby died of shock and seizures and was buried on Sunday afternoon.
He said the mob returned on Tuesday and set his house on fire at 1:45 a.m., when he and his family were sleeping.
“I didn’t realize that my house was on fire until the roof collapsed and woke me from my sleep,” Dance told the Post.
He said he and his family immediately fled the house to save themselves and had no time to save their valuables. (drs)