Ten photos is being displayed on the hallway of Jakarta Convention Center, celebrating the World Press Freedom Day 2017 from 1-4 May. These photos depict the reality that journalists are facing some dangers of law accusation, violence and intimidation.
One of the photo shows a Metro TV journalist, Desi Fitriani, being protected by security officers. The photo, taken by Edward Febriati Kusuma, a Detik.com journalist, give the visualization of the angry of the mass as they rejected Fitriani to do her job.
Fitriani became the victim of violence when she was covering a protest against Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama on Feb. 2. The rally was organized by National Movement to Safeguard the Indonesian Ulema Fatwa. She was physically and verbally intimidated by the mob when they know that Fitriani came from the media that they believe often makes bad news about them.
As an experienced journalist specialized in conflict and war coverage, Fitriani told our reporter Albizia Akbar that she devastated of that incident.
“I had been reporting in several conflicted countries and I was safe there,” she said. “But here, I am sad because I was rejected by people in my own country,” she added.
Some other photos portrays journalists who had been criminalized. A photo taken by Rully Kusuma from Tempo shows Eko Maryadi and Ahmad Taufiq raising their hands in the courtroom as they believe they were innocent. In 1996, the Tempo journalists were accused of defamation by Tomy Winata, an Indonesian bussinesman, for their writing in Tempo Magazine in 3-9th March edition. The story, titled “Ada Tomy di Tenabang/There is Tomy in Tenabang”, is about the alleged involvement of Winata in Tanah Abang market fire.
The violence towards Indonesian journalist has been raising lately. According to The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), there were 80 cases of violence towards journalist in 2016. This number has raised from 42 in 2015 and 40 in 2014 and 2013. In the last eleven years, there are 602 cases of violence towards the journalists.
Yosep Adi Prasetyo, the Chairman of Indonesian Press Council, told the journalist to report if there is any violation of the freedom of press.
“The freedom of press has been guaranteed under the Law No. 40 of 1999 of the Press,” Prasetyo said.
The writer is student at University of Indonesia