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Journalists protest attack on reporters

Media groups call for investigation after naval personnel accused of beatings

  • Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
  • Indonesia
  • May 31, 2012
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Journalist groups have condemned attacks on Tuesday by naval personnel on seven news cameramen in Padang, the capital of Sumatra.

They called on military police to investigate the incident which was sparked after residents burned down a café allegedly used for prostitution. This resulted in members of the navy attacking them.

Noticing the violence was being caught on camera, the naval personnel then allegedly turned on those doing the filming.

“We strongly condemn the violence by navy personnel against the journalists,” the Coalition of Journalists against Violence said in a statement yesterday.

The cameramen said they were punched and kicked by the sailors, who then seized their equipment.

Press reports in Indonesia said that 12 naval personnel have since been detained for their alleged involvement.

Dozens of media workers in nearby Medan yesterday staged a protest rally in support of the journalists in Padang.

“Violence against journalists is a serious threat,” Eko Maryadi, chairman of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AIJ), said today.

The AIJ has recorded 20 cases of violence against journalists by police, the military, civil servants and local legislators this year up to May.

Maryadi said that in many cases the authorities failed to hold the perpetrators to account.
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