The Jakarta Post
The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Jakarta chapter has strongly condemned alleged violence and intimidation against two journalists covering a mob attack on a police station in Ciracas, East Jakarta on Tuesday.
AJI Jakarta has urged the two journalists from kumparan.com and Transmedia to file police reports, citing Law No. 40/1999 on the press, which protects the rights of journalists.
“Violence against journalists is against the law and threatens the freedom of the press,” AJI Jakarta chairman Asril Bambani said in a statement on Thursday. “Such an act violates the rights of the public to obtain accurate and correct information. Journalists work to serve the public,” he added.
The victims, identified only as ER and RF, were covering an attack on Ciracas Police Station on Tuesday at 11 p.m. However, their path was blocked by several people, reportedly Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel.
When the two journalists began to record the event from behind a parked vehicle, the mob rampaged the vehicle and the police station’s windows, screaming “let the detainee out.”
“We were asked 'where do you come from'?” ER told AJI Jakarta. “RF and I said we were civilians. If we were honest about our profession, we would have been doomed. They [prohibited] us from using our camera and mobile phone,” ER added.
“They attacked police officers. RF also got hit on his forehead and he bled,” ER said.
According to a police report, the mob of some 100 men attacked the station as they were not satisfied with the way the police had handled an assault case that occurred the previous day, in which a naval officer was attacked by a number of parking attendants.