Journalist in Jayapura stabbed by unidentified people

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - Journalists in Indonesia continue to run the risk of becoming victims of violence in carrying out their professional duties.

In the Papuan city of Jayapura, a Viva News journalist named Banjir Ambarita sustained injuries to his stomach and chest after being stabbed by two unknown men early Thursday.

The attack happened in the Entrop area, South Jayapura, when he was riding in the area on a motorcycle early Thursday morning at 02.15 AM, Banjir Ambarita said.

He was rushed to Marthen Indey General Hospital as he suffered serious stab wounds, he said, adding that the attackers also rode on a motorbike.

He said he believed the attackers were hired by someone but local police could not yet reveal the motives behind this incident.

Tens of local journalists guarded the hospital room where Banjir was being treated to anticipate any unexpected eventualities, he said.

Indonesian journalists remain vulnerable to acts of physical violence despite the government`s strong support for press freedom.

On Tuesday for instance, Poso police arrested three men for their alleged acts of violence against a journalist.

Central Sulawesi police spokesman Commissioner Rostin Tumaloto only identified the suspects as An, Al, and Sn. They were all Poso Kota subdistrict residents.

They were among six people suspected of having attacked Media Alkhairaat journalist Subandi at Sintuvu Maroso University campus on Tuesday at 01.00 PM local time, he said.

The physical violence was likely related to Media Alkhairaat`s news about that private university`s environment-loving students who vandalized and burned some chairs inside the university campus.

The news item was published on February 25, 2011, he said.

The Indonesian Press Council (Dewan Pers) had recorded 25 cases of violence against journalists during 2010.

The violence occurred in the form of acts of intimidation, destruction of reporting equipment, vandalizing of media offices, acts of sabotage, confinement, physical maltreatment and murder, Agus Sudibyo, head of the Press Council`s unit for complaints and ethics enforcement, said.