Makassar, S Sulawesi (ANTARA) - An ANTARA journalist has become a victim of the repressive acts of the police's anti-riot squad members during a massive protest that local students staged against the controversial Criminal Code Bill Tuesday. Muh Darwin Fatir suffered bruises on his head after being beaten by policemen who attempted to dismiss the protesting students in front of the South Sulawesi parliament building, according to Ishak, a journalist of Makassar Today.

Fatir was not the only journalist who suffered because he was also beaten, Ishak said. Along with newsmen from various local media organisations, he and Fatir were covering the protest, he added.

Fatir who works for ANTARA, Indonesia's national news agency, was also kicked by a brutal policeman as could be seen from the boot marks on his body, Ishak said.

Several students who criticized the recent passing of the revised Corruption Eradication Commission Law were also injured in clashes.

The wounded students and journalists, including Fatir, were rushed to Awal Bros Hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, South Sulawesi Police Spokesman Dicky Sondani was reluctant to make any statement on the repressive acts of the anti-riot policemen.

Commenting on this incident, Secretary of the Association of Indonesian Journalists (PJI) Syafril Rahmat was quoted by Makassar Today as appealing to the South Sulawesi police chief to probe into the repressive acts of the police on working journalists.

The journalists were not criminals. They were only doing their work as mandated by the Press Law Number 40/1999. Therefore, the South Sulawesi police chief should take stern action against his men.

Makassar was not the only city in Indonesia where students took to the streets to protest the recent passing of the two controversial bills.

Protests also broke out in Indonesia's capital city, Jakarta, and many other cities, including Medan in North Sumatra, Malang in East Java, and Bandung in West Java.

They all echoed their demands for the House of Representatives' (DPR's) to not pass the controversial bills, including the Criminal Code Bill.



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Translator: Suriani Mappong, Rahmad Nasuti
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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