The police's integrity and transparency in handling the case are essential to enable the people, including media workers, to know the legal process
Jakarta (ANTARA) - ANTARA News Director Akhmad Munir has urged the National Police to be serious and transparent in probing the case of violence by policemen against his journalist, Muh Darwin Fatir, in Makassar, South Sulawesi Province.

The police's integrity and transparency in handling the case are essential to enable the people, including media workers, to know the legal process, Munir said in Jakarta Tuesday.

The policemen's acts of violence against several journalists in Makassar, including Fathir of ANTARA News Agency, have violated Indonesia's Press Law Number 40/1999 in which its Article 8 has guaranteed legal protection to working journalists.

Related news: Police brutalize ANTARA journalist in Makassar

The ANTARA authority would ask Fatir to make a report on the chronology of the incident that occurred when he and his colleagues from other news media were covering a massive protest staged by local students against several controversial bills Tuesday, he said.

The management is also keen to make sure that Fatir receives good medical treatment to help him recover soon. His journalistic work is guaranteed, and his working devices are well protected, he said.

Fathir suffered bruises on his head after being beaten by the policemen who attempted to dismiss the protesting students, Ishak, a journalist of Makassar Today, said.

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

Fatir who works for ANTARA, Indonesia's national news agency, was also brutally kicked in the stomach by a policeman as the sign of boot marks showed, Ishak said.

Several students who protested against the recent passing of the revised Corruption Eradication Commission Law also suffered injuries after clashing with the policemen.

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

Related news: Indonesian students again stage rallies in protest of law changes

Meanwhile, South Sulawesi Police Spokesman Dicky Sondani was reluctant to make any statement on the repressive acts by 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 police action against the journalists.

The journalists were not criminals. Instead, they did their professional work as mandated by the Press Law Number 40/1999. To this end, the South Sulawesi police chief should take stern action against his men who were responsible for the incident.

Makassar is not the only city in Indonesia where students took to the streets to protest the recent passing of the Corruption Eradication Commission Law and other controversial bills.

The 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. (INE)


Related news: Minister urges students to halt demonstrations to reject draft bills

Related news: Chief of Jakarta Police observes demonstration site

Translator: Taufik R, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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