APSN Banner

Graft-specialist reporter dies after violent attack

AFP - June 24, 1997

Jakarta – An Indonesian journalist has died in hospital, two days after being admitted following a severe beating which left him in a coma.

Mohammad Sayuti, 43, worked for the Pos Makasar newspaper based in Ujungpandang, the capital of southern Sulawesi.

He was found unconscious and bleeding from the mouth on Monday in Palopo, the daily's editor, Harun Rasyid, said.

Mr Sayuti was rushed to hospital but died without regaining consciousness on Wednesday, a hospital employee in Palopo said.

Nicknamed "Sanrego", Mr Sayuti had been the daily's correspondent in Palopo for 15 years.

"His family and us, believe that there were strong indications that he was murdered," Mr Rasyid said.

Mr Sayuti was found unconscious, with a small wound behind his ear and blood coming from his mouth.

Police are investigating the case.

Mr Sayuti was known for his investigative stories into corruption and administrative abuse and sources said the beating may have been related to one of his stories.

"His stories in the past weeks have contained strong social control elements," Mr Rasyid said, adding that his most recent story was on forest destruction by individuals working with local administrations.

Another journalist, Syafruddin, who worked for the Berita Nasional newspaper in Central Java died last August after being attacked outside his house. His specialty had been corruption stories.

Syafruddin had been working on a story allegedly implicating senior district leaders in a financial scam.