Violent Acts Against Journalists Increased
Press freedom index has declined from last year's ranking of 100 to 111 in 2008.
(AP Photo/Nick Ut)
VIVAnews - The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) reported that at least 60 cases of acts of violence against journalists in Indonesia were committed in 2008.
The acts include physical assaults (21 cases), threats (19), dismissals and bans from covering events (9), lawsuits (6), censorships (3), demonstration (1) and hostaging (1).
According to AJI President Nezar Patria, threats came from various parties, mostly supporters of a regional head candidate, state officials, military personnel, police officers, judges, activists of NGOs, anonymous individuals and thugs.
"It's distressing. After 10 years of reformation, the Indonesian press freedom index has instead decreased," said Patria on Tuesday, Dec 30.
In fact, according to a report by Paris-based global media freedom defense organization, Reports sans Frontières (Reporters Without Borders), the index has declined from last year's ranking of 100 to 111 in 2008.
"The press freedom index is trusted by the international community as a measure for democracy in a country," said Patria.
Therefore, AJI insisted that the government and the House of Representatives (DPR) do not prepare any new laws to curb press freedom, and appealed to those who have been injured by the media to file a complaint to the Press Council.
"Filing a report to the police and filing a lawsuit to the court is the last resort," said Patria.
He also urged people not to block journalists covering any stories and not to commit violence and above all not to hamper news coverage.
Meanwhile, Coordinator of AJI Advocacy Division Margiyono said that the media in Indonesia is less professional and lack ethical values.
Various mistakes concerning inaccuracy, unapplied principles of checking and rechecking and lack of multiple sides coverage are still seen in many news items.
"Such violation and mistake is to be resolved through a mechanism stipulated by Law No.40/1999 on Press," said Margiyono.
Translated by: Bonardo Maulana Wahono
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