Police vow to probe assault on ANTARA journalist

Police vow to probe assault on ANTARA journalist

Chief of the West Aceh District Police Adjunct Senior Commissioner Andrianto Argamuda shook hands with ANTARA journalist Teuku Dedi Iskandar treated at Cut Nyak Dhien Regional General Hospital in Meulaboh, West Aceh, Tuesday (Jan 21, 2020) Antara Aceh/M Haris SA

We are still processing the case of the threat to the journalist. The process will enter the first phase on Thursday, January 23. We have coordinated with the public prosecutor's office and have issued a written order to begin the investigations
Banda Aceh, Aceh (ANTARA) - Chief of the West Aceh District Police Adjunct Senior Commissioner Andrianto Argamuda has vowed to thoroughly investigate the assault on an ANTARA journalist who is now being treated at a local government hospital. "This is my homework. We will investigate it thoroughly. I hope journalists will understand and entrust the handling of the case to us," Argamuda said in Meulaboh, West Aceh, Wednesday.

He expressed regret over the assault. Moreover, a few days before the assault happened a journalist had received a threat.

"We are still processing the case of the threat to the journalist. The process will enter the first phase on Thursday, January 23. We have coordinated with the public prosecutor's office and have issued a written order to begin the investigations," he said.

The police are still investigating the assault on the ANTARA journalist identified as Teuku Dedi Iskandar in Meulaboh, West Aceh on Monday, January 20, he said.

"We are still collecting evidence and information from witnesses. Some of them have been questioned. We are also waiting for the result of the tests conducted by the hospital," he said.

Based on the results, the motive behind the assault seems to be debt rather than a news story.

"The motive has been ascertained on information from witnesses in the field. We have not questioned Iskandar as he is still in the hospital," he said.

However, Iskandar has denied reports that the assault is related to debt. He alleged that somebody has created a scenario in which he owed something to the perpetrator.

"It is not true that I owe him. Before the assault, a group of people came to me and asked me not to report the case of threat to a journalist. I believe that the perpetrator is the same," he said.

The assault on the ANTARA journalist has come under the spotlight.

The Indonesian Television Journalist Association (IJTI) has appealed to the Aceh police to arrest those who assaulted the journalist.

The perpetrators should be brought to court, and the police should expose this assault case that has violated the mandate of Law No. 40 of 1999 on the Press, Chairman of IJTI-Labuhanbatu Raya Chapter Fachrizal Lubis stated.

Meanwhile, acting Aceh Governor Nova Iriansyah also denounced the assault and called on the law enforcers to bring to trial all perpetrators.

The perpetrators should receive punishment in line with the laws and regulations by taking into account the importance of the press in a democracy, Nova had earlier remarked. 

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