Indonesia records rise in violence against journalists

By Devina Halim

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AA) – Violence against journalists has increased in Indonesia, with at least 90 cases reported in the country last year, a local media organization said on Monday.

It has increased significantly from 57 cases in 2019, Erick Tanjung, head of advocacy for the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), said at a virtual press conference.

The group said the majority of the cases were registered in Malang city (16 cases) and the capital Jakarta (15 cases).

According to the data, the most common form of violence was intimidation, which accounted for 28 cases, followed by 22 cases of destruction of tools or coverage material, and 19 cases of physical violence.

It added that most of the violence was perpetrated by police with 58 cases, followed by advocates, prosecutors and government officials.

– Response from police

Senior Commissioner Ahmad Ramadhan, head of the police's general information section, said at the virtual press conference that the police officers involved in cases of violence against journalists were the unscrupulous ones.

Ramadhan called on the public not to generalize since only a few police officers are involved in cases out of a total of 400,000 personnel.

"We apologize and, of course, we will improve the behavior of our personnel in the field," he said.

Ramadhan said the National Police Headquarters has always reminded their staff that journalists' work is protected under press laws.

*Writing by RhanyChairunissa Rufinaldo with Anadolu Agency's Indonesian language services in Jakarta