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Indonesia: Journalist in Timika, Papua brutally attacked by police officers

Asian Human Rights Commission Urgent Appeal - November 22, 2017

Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-199-2017

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the brutal attack against Mr. Saldi Hermanto, a journalist in Timika, Papua. He was attacked by the police after he criticized on Facebook the police handling of security at an entertainment show he attended. Although the Mimika Police Chief has promised to properly settle the case, the public and media should monitor and ensure that the case is not merely settled by the internal police mechanism. The perpetrators must be criminally prosecuted.

Case narrative:

On Saturday, 11 November 2017 at 10:50 p.m., journalist Saldi Hermanto and his kid were enjoying an entertainment show in the night market of Timika Indah, Papua. As the show was going on, suddenly there was chaos among the audience. Subsequently, Hermanto wrote on his Facebook wall criticizing the police failure to secure the entertainment show and guarantee security for visitors.

Hermanto's criticism angered the police officers, some of whom felt he had humiliated and offended the police institution. Some six to eight police officers of Mimika Police Office (Polres Mimika), then searched for Hermanto. Finally, they found him in a small post where many journalists usually gather and send news to various media, located in front of the Mimika Traffic Police Unit of Mimika Police Office (Kantor Satuan Lalu Lintas Polres Mimika). The police officers then brutally attacked Hermanto, they beat him repeatedly and brought him inside the integrated police post. The brutal attack caused serious injuries on Hermanto's face and right rib, and Hermanto had difficulty breathing after the attack.

On November 13, at 9 a.m. Timika journalists from the Association of Online Media (IWO) Timika and from the Association of Journalist Photo Indonesia (PFI) Timika organized a peaceful protest in front of the Mimika Police Office in Cendrawasih Street. The protesters demanded that the Chief Police of Mimika Police Office, Police Superintendent (AKBP) Viktor Dean Mackbon fairly and properly investigate the brutal attack and violence against Mr. Saldi Hermanto, a journalist of Salam Papua and Okezone. In responding to the protest, AKBP Dean Mackbon stated that nine of thirteen police officers who had been examined, were detained for further investigation related to the attack. In addition, AKBP Victor stated that the there will be two investigation processes, both internal and criminal prosecution. He also apologized to the journalists and promised to settle the case.

Additional information:

The AHRC notes that violence against journalists continues in Indonesia. Another recent case occurred on 20 October 2017, when police brutally attacked Mr. Panji Bahari, a journalist of Banten Post in Banten province. According to the Independence Journalist Alliance (AJI) Indonesia, in 2016 there were 78 cases of violence and attacks against journalists. This is a higher number compared to 2015, in which 40 cases of violence and attacks against journalists were recorded.

Suggested action:

Please write to the authorities listed below, asking them to ensure that the brutal attack committed by police officers of Mimika Police Office must be properly investigated under fair trial principles. The police should provide open access for media and public as well as independent State commissions, such as the National Commission on Human Rights to monitor and ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable. Further, the government must take seriously cases of violence against journalists, in order to enhance and ensure their protection in Indonesia.

The AHRC will write a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, calling for their intervention into this matter.

To support this case, please click here: http://www.urgentappeals.net/support.php?ua=AHRC-UAC-199-2017


Sample letter:

Dear....................,

Indonesia: Journalist in Timika, Papua brutally attacked by police officers

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the brutal attack against Mr. Saldi Hermanto, a journalist in Timika, Papua. He was attacked by the police after he criticized on Facebook the police handling of security at an entertainment show he attended. Although the Mimika Police Chief has promised to properly settle the case, the public and media should monitor and ensure that the case is not merely settled by the internal police mechanism. The perpetrators must be criminally prosecuted.

On Saturday, 11 November 2017 at 10:50 p.m., journalist Saldi Hermanto and his kid were enjoying an entertainment show in the night market of Timika Indah, Papua. As the show was going on, suddenly there was chaos among the audience. Subsequently, Hermanto wrote on his Facebook wall criticizing the police failure to secure the entertainment show and guarantee security for visitors.

Hermanto's criticism angered the police officers, some of whom felt he had humiliated and offended the police institution. Some six to eight police officers of Mimika Police Office (Polres Mimika), then searched for Hermanto. Finally, they found him in a small post where many journalists usually gather and send news to various media, located in front of the Mimika Traffic Police Unit of Mimika Police Office (Kantor Satuan Lalu Lintas Polres Mimika). The police officers then brutally attacked Hermanto, they beat him repeatedly and brought him inside the integrated police post. The brutal attack caused serious injuries on Hermanto's face and right rib, and Hermanto had difficulty breathing after the attack.

On November 13, at 9 a.m. Timika journalists from the Association of Online Media (IWO) Timika and from the Association of Journalist Photo Indonesia (PFI) Timika organized a peaceful protest in front of the Mimika Police Office in Cendrawasih Street. The protesters demanded that the Chief Police of Mimika Police Office, Police Superintendent (AKBP) Viktor Dean Mackbon fairly and properly investigate the brutal attack and violence against Mr. Saldi Hermanto, a journalist of Salam Papua and Okezone. In responding to the protest, AKBP Dean Mackbon stated that nine of thirteen police officers who had been examined, were detained for further investigation related to the attack. In addition, AKBP Victor stated that the there will be two investigation processes, both internal and criminal prosecution. He also apologized to the journalists and promised to settle the case.

The AHRC notes that violence against journalists continues in Indonesia. Another recent case occurred on 20 October 2017, when police brutally attacked Mr. Panji Bahari, a journalist of Banten Post in Banten province. According to the Independence Journalist Alliance (AJI) Indonesia, in 2016 there were 78 cases of violence and attacks against journalists. This is a higher number compared to 2015, in which 40 cases of violence and attacks against journalists were recorded.

Therefore, I respectfully request you to ensure that the brutal attack committed by police officers of Mimika Police Office must be properly investigated under fair trial principles. The police should provide open access for media and public as well as independent State commissions, such as the National Commission on Human Rights to monitor and ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable. Further, the government must take seriously cases of violence against journalists, in order to enhance and ensure their protection in Indonesia.

I look forward to your prompt action in this matter.

Yours Sincerely,

...................

Please send your letters to:

1. Mr. Joko Widodo
President of the Republic of Indonesia
Jl. Veteran No. 16
Jakarta Pusat
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 3458 595
Fax: +62 21 3484 4759
E-mail: webmaster@setneg.go.id

2. Mr. Yasonna Laoly
Minister of Law and Human Rights
Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav. 6 7
Kuningan, Jakarta 12940
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 525 3006, 525 3889
Fax: +62 21 525 3095

3. Dr. Mualimin Abdi SH., MH
Director General of Human Rights
Office of the Director General of Human Rights
Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav. 6 7
Kuningan, Jakarta 12940
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 5253006
Fax: +62 21 5253095

4. General Pol. Drs. H.M. Tito Karnavian, M.A., Ph.D
Chief of National Police (KAPOLRI)
Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3 KebayoranBaru, Jakarta Selatan 12110
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 384 8537, 726 0306
Fax: +62 21 7220 669
E-mail: info@polri.go.id

5. Inspector General Pol Boy Rafli Amar
The Chief of Police Area of Papua [Kapolda Papua]
Jalan. Sam Ratulangi No. 8, Papua 99112
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 967 531014
Fax: +62 967 533763

6. Ms. Poengky Indarti
Commissioner of the National Police Commission
Jl. Tirtayasa VII No. 20
KebayoranBaru, Jakarta Selatan
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 739 2315
Fax: +62 21 739 2352
E-mail: secretariat@kompolnas.go.id, skm@kompolnas.go.id

7. H. Bambang Soesatyo, S.E., M.B.A

Chairperson of the Commission III of The House of Representative
KetuaKomisi III DPR RI
Gedung Nusantara II DPR RI, Lt I
JalanJenderalGatotSubroto, Jakarta,
INDONESIA
Telp: +62 21 -5715566, +62 21-5715569, +62 21-5715864
Fax: +62 21 5715566

8. Mr. Abdul Haris Semendawai
Chairperson of the Agency for Victims and Witness Protection
Lembaga Perlindungan Saksi dan Korban (LPSK)
Jalan Raya Bogor KM. 24 No. 47-49, Susukan, Ciracas, RT.6/RW.1, Susukan, Ciracas, Kota Jakarta Timur, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 13750
Tel: +62 21 29681560
Fax: +62 21 29681551/+62 21 29681557

9. Mr. Ahmad Taufan Damanik
Chairperson of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM)
Jl. Latuharhary No. 4-B
Jakarta 10310
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 392 5227-30
Fax: +62 21 392 5227
E-mail: info@komnas.go.id

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

Source: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAC-199-2017.

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