Journalists covering the demonstration in front of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in Jakarta, on Friday, September 13, were harassed, blocked and had their equipment damaged.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Indonesia condemn the attack and call the authorities to investigate and hold accountable those responsible for the assault.
A group of 100 people calling itself 'The Alliance of Students and Youth Volunteers who Love the NKRI' and the Indonesia Students Association staged a protest outside the KPK offices in Jakarta in support of the revisions of the KPK Law No. 32/2002.
The demonstration turned violent when protesters started to smash floral bouquets sent by the activists of Indonesia's anti-corruption movement and threw sticks and stones into the building. They also took down the black cloth covering the logo of KPK and names inside the building. The black cloth was placed there as part of the previous protest against the revision of the KPK Law, which will weaken the institution. The black cloth was a symbol of the gloom and mourning.
The journalists covering the protests were also targeted, stones and rocks were thrown at the press room beside the KPK lobby. Some of the journalists were attacked including on from Berita Satu who was hit. Protesters tried to obstruct the media from recording the violence and one reporter's camera and tripod were destroyed.
AJI, in its statement, said it regretted the police officers who were on the scene did not take serious action during the riot. The officers allowed the attackers to go and asked the journalists to stop filming of taking photos.
"We urge the police to investigate the riot and prosecute the demonstrators who attacked journalists. We also demand the authorities to ensure the safety of the journalists in Indonesia while they are on duty. In conducting the activities of his profession, the journalist is protected by the Press law," AJI added.
The IFJ said: "We stand with AJI in condemning the assault against journalists. We also call the Indonesian authorities to investigate and hold accountable those responsible for the attack. The incident was not the first time that the journalists were targeted during the riot. Indonesian authorities must ensure the protection of journalists so it will not occur again in the future."
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946