AJI says number of violence against journalists in 2022 increased

violence against journalists

Jayapura, Jubi – The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) has launched a security report of journalists in Indonesia throughout 2022, which says journalists are in a less safe situation. This is based on the increasing number of attacks on journalists. The perpetrators are both state actors and non-state actors.

AJI’s Advocacy Coordinator Erick Tanjung said that throughout 2022 violence against journalists throughout Indonesia increased considerably compared to 2021.

“Cases of attacks on journalists in 2022 reached 61 cases, the victims of which are 97 journalists and 14 media organizations. The number increased from the previous year which was 43 cases,” said Erick Tanjung during the online dissemination of the report on Monday, January 16, 2023.

The types of attacks faced are mostly digital attacks (15 cases), physical violence and destruction of work equipment (20 cases), verbal violence such as intimidation, threats, and terror (10 cases), gender-based violence (3 cases), arrest and criminal reporting of journalists or media (5 cases) and censorship (8 cases).

“As many as 24 cases involved state actors comprising the police (15 cases), government officials (7 cases) and the Indonesian Military [TNI] (2 cases). Meanwhile, non-state actors in 20 cases involved mass organizations (4 cases), political party (1 case), companies (6 cases) and residents (9 cases). We have yet to identify the perpetrators in the remaining 17 cases,” he said.

From the available data, there are five provinces with the highest cases of violence against journalists. DKI Jakarta is the highest with 14 cases, followed by West Nusa Tenggara 6 cases, North Sumatra 5 cases, South Sulawesi 4 cases, and South Sumatra 3 cases.

As for the security situation of journalists in Papua and West Papua throughout 2022, AJI Indonesia recorded 4 cases of violence with 7 journalists as victims, where these cases included exposure (1 case), criminal reporting (1 case), verbal sexual violence (1 case), and physical violence (1 case).

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“This number increased compared to 2021 with 3 cases and 3 victims. However, it does not rule out the possibility that many other cases have occurred against journalists outside AJI’s monitoring, due to the difficulty of verifying cases in Papua and West Papua,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Chairperson of AJI Indonesia, Sasmito, revealed that in the last five years the perpetrators of violence against journalists were mostly police officers.

“This means that there must be efforts to fundamentally change the reform activities carried out within the Police. From the cases reported we see that there is unprofessionalism carried out by members of the Police, wherein several cases that have been handled by the Press Council and declared as journalistic work, but are still processed by the police,” he said. (*)

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