Journalists attacked in Morowali
Two journalists sustained bruising after being beaten by a group of people while they were reporting at a gas station in Morowali, Central Sulawesi, on Tuesday.
The journalists were identified as Reni Sri Ayu of Kompas daily and Mohtar Mahyuddin of Mercusuar Palu daily.
Reni said she and Mohtar were taking pictures when the incident took place at around 4:05 p.m. local time (3:05 p.m. Jakarta time).
“I personally do not understand [why we were beaten]. I was interviewing a fisherman near the gas station, while Mohtar was taking pictures of people queuing for gasoline,” Reni said via BlackBerry Messenger.
She said she heard a gas station attendant suddenly incite people nearby to prevent them taking pictures, which was followed by the attack by a group of people on Mohtar and Reni.
“Mohtar was kicked and punched in the jaw, while I was punched in the stomach,” Reni said in a report filed with the local police precinct.
The motives behind the attack remained unknown as of going to press, with Ridwan Lapasere, head of the Palu branch of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), urging the police to investigate the case.
“This is obviously thuggery against journalists. The [Central Sulawesi] Police should take over the case so it can immediately be resolved,” Ridwan said. (mtq)
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