Journalist Covering Students Anti-Omnibus Law Protest Assaulted
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A journalist from online news media Suara.com, Peter Rotti, was attacked by police while covering the students' demonstration against the new Job Creation Law at M.H. Thamrin, Central Jakarta, on Thursday, October 8, 2020.
The media chief editor Suwarjono said the incident occurred around 6 p.m. “At that time, Peter was recording several policemen attacking a protester around Transjakarta Bank Indonesia Bus Stop,” he said via a written statement on Thursday.
Peter was with his friend, Adit Rianto S, who is also a videographer. Seeing Peter recording the police brutality, an officer in casual black clothes approached him followed by six other policemen who were later known as Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) personnel.
They asked for Peter’s camera. But Peter refused and explained his duty as a journalist. The police forced and took the camera. One of them also asked for the camera's memory card. Peter insisted to object to the request and said he would delete the recording.
The police persisted and took the camera. Peter was also dragged while being beaten and kicked by the police.
As the camera was taken, they seized the memory card containing video footage of the student protests around the Horse Statue, Monas area. The camera was then returned to Peter.
Suwarjono condemned such persecution acts against his staff and journalists from other media who met with similar actions. “Journalistic activities are always protected by law,” he said. “I also urge the police to investigate this matter completely.”