The incident added to the count of reporters hit both by protesters and police officers during the strikes in the past several days in various cities, such as Jakarta and Makassar.
Andreas Febricho, an online news reporter, stood behind the police before a mineral bottle struck his eyes when dozens of students attempted to forcefully enter the DPRD building. The bottle shattered his eyeglasses, and the splinters struck his eye.
"I have no idea who hurled the bottle at my eye," Febricho stated.
After being hit by the bottle, Febricho slumped to the ground. Other reporters nearby then took him to a clinic room inside the DPRD building. In an attempt to receive medical aid, some security officials and a police officer stopped the reporters to enter the clinic room over suspicion of the journalists being part of protesters.
After a verbal volley of words, the police then allowed the reporter to be treated inside the DPRD building.
Before, at least a dozen journalists in the cities of Jakarta and Makassar also suffered injuries on account of the handling by police officers. One of them was Darwin Fathir, an ANTARA reporter in Makassar, South Sulawesi Province, who got kicked and beaten by the police while covering the strike on Sept 24.
In the meantime, in Jakarta, at least four reporters of Narasi TV, Kompas, IDN Times, and Katadata were also intimidated by the police, who seized their phones without warrants since they had recorded some coercive acts allegedly conducted by the police officers on the protesters.
The National Commission on Human Rights and the Alliance of Independent Journalists had condemned the abuse and called on the police to comply with Law No. 40 of 1999 on Press. Related news: Police to act on against personnel assaulting journalists
EDITED BY INE