About 30 journalists rallied in front of Indonesian President Susilo
Bambang Yudhoyono's Democratic Party office in Jakarta Saturday to
protest a reported assault against a journalist by a Democratic Party
official. The protesting journalists say the attack against one of
their colleagues is also an assault on press freedom.
The incident reportedly happened during a
Democratic Party vice presidential campaign visit to the province of
Papua. The alleged victim Julia Odeadata worked for Sinar Harapan, an
Indonesian daily newspaper.
Fellow Sinar Harapan journalist Norman
Meoko says he spoke with her recently and that she sustained back
He says we hope the police will not be afraid to
prosecute this case even though we know the suspect is a ruling
Democratic party member.
Widi Widodo, president of the Jakarta
journalist association, says the demonstrators came to show solidarity
and speak out against what they say is ongoing repression of journalist
rights by the government.
On behalf of journalists, he says, he urges all the candidates, whoever is elected, to eliminate violence against the press.
Committee to Protect Journalists says that press freedom conditions
have improved markedly in Indonesia with the recent consolidation of
democracy. But journalists in provincial areas complain they still
face frequent threats and harassment when reporting on sensitive