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Violence against journalists on the increase: AJI Papua

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jayapura   /   Sun, December 22, 2013   /  08:39 pm

The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Papua says violence against journalists doubled in 2013 from the previous year.

AJI Papua chairman Victor Mambor said in Jayapura on Sunday that the trend of this year'€™s violence against journalists'€™ was similar to that which had happened in the period of 2010-2012.

'€œPolice officers appear to have been responsible for a large part of the violence against journalists,'€ said Victor as quoted by Antara news agency.

He said despite improving relations between the police and journalists in Papua, the police had continued to be accused of frequent violence against journalists.

Citing data, Victor said officers from the Papua Police were allegedly responsible for eight of a total of 20 cases of violence and intimidation against journalists recorded by the AJI Jayapura in 2013.

'€œThis figure shows a significant increase from 2012 in which there were only 12 cases of violence against journalists,'€ said Victor.

The report further revealed that 16 of the total 20 cases occurred in Papua while the remaining four cases took place in West Papua.

The most commonly experienced types of violence were verbal intimidation and physical abuse, such as threatening and abusing journalists with vulgar language, forcefully entering and damaging media offices and physically attacks on journalists.

'€œMeanwhile, the cases of violence against journalists perpetrated by civil society groups in 2013 were mostly carried out by a group of people in order to protect an official or public servant in a legal case,'€ said Victor.

He said there were six cases of intimidation and violence against journalists included in this category throughout 2013.

This showed that public officials in Papua had not yet educated their supporters to understand journalists'€™ roles and responsibilities as stipulated in Law No.40/1999 on the Press.

'€œIn the same context, press institutions should play a more active role in promoting the 1999 Law on the press to both the public and officials,'€ Victor said. (ebf)

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