Journalists protest criminalisation of the press

Source – November 13, 2008
Journalists protest in Makassar (Antara)
Journalists protest in Makassar (Antara)

Makassar – At least 50 journalists demonstrated at the South and West Sulawesi (Sulselbar) regional police headquarters in Makassar on November 13 over a case involving Upi, who has been declared a suspect in a case of defamation against Sulselbar police chief Sisno Adiwinoto.

The journalists, who came from a number of media organisations and wore black clothing, gave speeches in front of the police headquarters condemning the criminalisation of the press. Independent Journalist Alliance (AJI) chairperson Andi Fadli said that parties that have problems with the press should seek redress through the press law. “The regional police chief should be impartial and not use his authority to manipulate the law and coerce journalists”, said Fadli.

Scavengers call for end to waste imports

Jakarta – As many as 12,000 scavengers calling themselves the Indonesian Scavengers Association (IPI) demonstrated at the House of Representatives (DPR) building in Jakarta on November 11 demanding an end to the importation of waste into Indonesia. “Stop waste imports”, shouted IPI general chairperson Kuswoyo during a speech in front of the DPR.

According to Kuswoyo, the importation by “ill-disciplined” companies not only brings down the price of domestic waste and brings suffering to scavengers, but also violates the law. “This is clearly written in the law”, said Kuswoyo when speaking with

Kuswoyo and around 50 other representatives of the scavengers were later allowed to meet with DPR members who told the protesters that they would follow up their concerns.

Lapindo mud flow victims demand payment of compensation

Jakarta – Victims of the Brantas Lapindo mud flow disaster in Central Java have again protested demanding the payment of compensation for their land and homes.

The action was held in front of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) offices in Central Jakarta on Thursday November 13. The protesters, the majority of whom originate from the villages of Kedung Bendo, Jatirejo, Siring and Renokenongo, have been staying overnight at YLBHI since Monday.

During the action, the protesters called on Lapindo to pay the remaining 80 percent of compensation money as regulated by Presidential Regulation 14/2007. They also called on the government to force Lapindo to pay the outstanding monies.

Residents blockade roads to prevent planned demolition

Jakarta – Scores of resident from Directorate General for Taxation housing complex in West Jakarta blockaded access roads to the complex on November 11 after hearing that a planned demolition of 150 homes that they have occupied for 30 would soon go ahead.

In addition to the blockades made from bamboo and chairs, residents also erected banners at the entrance to the road reading “Don’t be arrogant, respect the law” and “Don’t use taxes collected from the people to demolish state-owned housing”.

“[This] case must be resolved legally first, only then executed. Don’t just evict [us]”, said one of the residents. “If we are forced to leave the complex we must be provided with adequate compensation to buy new houses or financial compensation”, said another resident.

Semanggi tragedy to be commemorated with flowers, prayer

Jakarta – Coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the Semanggi tragedy in which more than 10 students were shot dead by security forces, a number of activities will be held on Thursday November 13 to commemorate the incident.

The first event will be a visit to the grave of one of the victims, Sigit, at the Tanah Kusir public ceremony in South Jakarta where a group of visitors will scatter flowers on the grave.

Following this, a public discussion on the Semanggi tragedy will be organised at the Atmajaya University in Jakarta at 10am, followed by the screening of the film “A Struggle Without End”. “A ceremony placing flowers on their graves will also be held at 12 noon”, said one of the activity committee members in an SMS message sent to

Joint prayers will also be held at the Maria Kusuma Karmel Church in South Meruya at 7pm. In addition to these events, a photographic exhibition has been organised at the Atmajaya University.

[Abridged translation by James Balowski from five articles posted on the Website on November 13.]