Antara, Jakarta – The spokesperson of the Transportation Ministry Adita Irawati on Thursday issued a public apology following a physical aggression acted by the Transportation Minister's security personnel towards a journalist who was attempting to conduct a doorstop interview.
"We apologize to the media personnel for the inconvenience. We have conducted an internal evaluation and the Transportation Ministry has strongly reprimanded field security members," said the spokesperson on September 16.
The incident happened to Ajang Nurdin, a journalist and contributor for local new media Liputan6.com in Batam, Riau Islands, as he was covering the visit of Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi on Thursday.
Nurdin intended to conduct a doorstop interview as the Minister was on his way from the BP Batam flats to a local port. However, he was immediately pushed away by security forces and locked in a strangle position by another unknown security force.
They let the journalist free and told him that interviews should be done at the Batam Center Ferry Port. However, Ajang Nurdin insisted he did not aware that the Minister was unavailable for interview, as the ban on doorstop interviews was not mentioned in the Minister's official work schedule.
The Transportation Ministry spokesperson explained that they always try to prevent creating crowds, which includes denying journalists from doorstop interviews. She said security forces were asked to do it in a humanistic approach.
"We will use this incident to continue improving in the future," said the spokesperson.
The Independent Journalist Alliance (AJI) of Batam strongly condemned the physical aggression and called it an attempt to intimidate through arrogance by security forces.