Arie Dwi Satrio, Jakarta – The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) and the Legal Aid Institute for the Press (LBH Pers) have slammed the actions of both police as well as demonstrators during the May 22 riots in Jakarta that intimidated and committed violence against journalists on the job.
The groups have issued a number of demands. First, urging the police to fully investigate the violence and intimidation against journalists, both by police as well as civilian groups.
Second, appealing to the leaders of media outlets to take responsibility for the safety of journalists working in the field, provide journalist with safety information kits and provide trauma counseling for those affected by violence when covering stories.
Third, appealing to journalists covering mass actions to prioritise their safety by keeping their distance when riots occur.
Based on data compiled by AJI Jakarta as detailed in a press release received by Okezone, on Thursday May 23 at least seven journalists suffered violence, intimidation and persecution over a period of 24 hours.
They include CNN Indonesia TV journalist Budi Tanjung, CNN Indonesia journalist Ryan, MNC Media journalist Ryan, Radio Sindo Trijaya journalist Fajar, Alinea.id journalist Fadli Mubarok and two RTV journalists Intan and Rahajeng Mutiara.
In addition to this, two motorcycles belonging to Okezone.com journalists Fahreza Rizky and Puteranegara Batubara, which were parked at the Sarinah shopping mall, were damaged by individuals who they referred to as being "dressed like thugs".
It is also quite possible that there are still many other journalists who also suffered such violence and the AJI Jakarta is still gathering data and verifying the number of journalists affected.
The incidents happened when journalists were reporting in the area of the Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) building and were prevented by police from recording the arrest of people alleged to have provoked the crowds. (qlh)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "AJI Desak Polisi Usut Tuntas Kasus Kekerasan ke Wartawan saat Aksi 22 Mei".]