M Rosseno Aji, Jakarta – The Jakarta Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) says that there has been 26 cases of alleged violence against journalists reported to police in 2019 but not one has been investigated as a crime let alone taken to trial.
“They haven’t reached the criminal investigation stage, let alone the courts”, said AJI Jakarta Advocacy HeadErick Tanjung during a discussion at the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) offices in Jakarta on Sunday August 4.
According to Tanjung, 20 of these reports relate to violence against journalists during the May 22 post-election riots in Jakarta. In one of the cases the perpetrator was the police.
Five other cases related to an evening gathering of Islamic groups at the National Monument (Monas) in Central Jakarta dubbed the Munajat 212 on February 21, and one relates to an assault on a journalist during a sentence hearing against notorious gang leader Hercules Rozario Marshal on March 27.
Tanjung said that the alleged cases of violence against journalists were both direct and indirect and took the form of physical assaults, the seizure of equipment, the forced deletion of photographs and persecution on the internet.
Meanwhile in resolving cases of alleged violence against journalists by police, Tanjung said that the AJI had already pursued ethnical channels by reporting the case to the police’s professionalism and security division (Propam), but the report was not followed up.
Tanjung also criticised the role of the mass media and journalists who themselves have been victims of volume.
Out of the 26 cases of violence against journalists only two reporters or victims were prepared to be assisted by AJI in making reports with police. Yet Tanjung is of the view that journalists need to push for cases of violence against them being resolved legally so that they are not repeated.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “AJI Jakarta: 26 Kasus Kekerasan terhadap Wartawan Tak Diproses”.]