Fajar Pebrianto, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said press freedom is a fundamental pillar for the advancement of Indonesia as one of the largest democratic countries in the world.
"Press freedom and protection of the journalist are guaranteed by law," he said in the commemoration of National Press Day, Wednesday, Feb. 9.
The President mentioned that criticism, suggestions, and support from members of the press are very necessary. "[Journalists] remind [the government] if something is lacking, what needs to be improved, encourage things (program) that run slow, and appreciate programs that have been running," he added.
The government acknowledged that the great project of the nation's transformation still sees many shortcomings and limitations. Thus, he guaranteed that the government is always open to inputs from press members.
"So that these big steps can really be executed and carried out in the field to bring changes and big contributions to the progress of Indonesia," he said.
The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) reported on December 29, 2021, that there were 43 cases of violence against journalists from January 1 to December 25, 2021. The most common types of violence were terror and intimidation (9 cases), followed by physical violence (7 cases) and prohibition to conduct reporting (7 cases).
"AJI also noted 5 cases of digital attacks, 5 cases of threat, and 4 cases of legal prosecution, both criminal and civil," AJI Secretary-General Ika Ningtyas said of violence against journalists.