Indonesian police threaten Bintang Papua journalists in Yapen for reporting on demos

Threats against Bintang Papua journalists reported by JUBI

JUBI, 2 June 2012Jayapura: According to several journalists working in Serui, Yapen district in Papua, including a journalist from Bintang Papua,  they had been warned against publishing information about a demonstration that took place there on 29 May. Bintang Papua has  expressed its regrets about this information regarding what the police had done. Journalists have the right to report what happened regarding incidents like this.

The chief editor of the newspaper, Daud Sony  said in response to a query from JUBI: ‘I have just received information from Seo, our contributor in Serui. He said that the terror and threats made by the police were highly regrettable .This is now the era of reform and space should be given to anyone to exercise the right of response, including journalists.’

The Bintang Papua journalist who was in Serui had rung JUBI to tell them about intimidation and terror by the local police after they had sent a report  about a demonstration by Wadapi inhabitants to the Yapen Legislative assembly, DPRD regarding the arrest of John Nuntian. ‘We were accused of inciting discord by circulating this report, but we had already sought and received confirmation from the police.

In addition to Seo, another journalist, Ulis Makabori reported that he had been intimidated by the police for reporting information about the demonstration. Ulis wrote  a detailed report about happened during the demonstration.

Article 4 para (1) of Press Law 4/1999 states:  ‘The freedom of the press is guaranteed as a basic right of all citizens, The press shall be free of any attempt to prevent , prohibit or use other means  to prevent the population from receiving information.

[Abridged in translation b TAPOL]

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