Human Rights Group Urges Police to Handle Mass Media Intimidation

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  • FPI`s persecution against Tempo threatens press freedom

    FPI`s persecution against Tempo threatens press freedom

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Amnesty International Indonesia requested the police to perform assertiveness upon the intimidation shown by members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) in their protest at Tempo headquarters on Friday.

    “Police should have weighed-in that protest from a legal standpoint,” said Usman Hamid, Director of Amnesty International Indonesia on Tuesday, March 20.

    As previously reported, there were around 200 FPI members protested at Tempo office in Palmerah last week. Tempo’s editorial team was pushed by the protesters to issue an apology for publishing a satirical cartoon depicting a person who FPI perceives as Rizieq Shihab.

    Read: 5 Things Considered as FPI`s Intimidation Against Tempo

    Several acts of intimidations continued when FPI representatives mediated with Tempo magazine Editor in Chief Arif Zulkifli, which was held in one of the meeting rooms inside the Tempo office. After a tough negotiation, Arif was told to issue an apology to FPI members that were still protesting outside.

    At one point when Arif was on top of the FPI vehicle used for the protest, his glasses were grabbed by a protester and thrown into the crowd. There was also a member who threw water to the direction where Arif was standing.

    Read: Legal Expert Comments on FPI Protest at Tempo HQ

    Usman referred to those incidents to urge the police be active in detecting whether there were violations in those series of incidents without waiting for a police report filed by Tempo management.

    “It is the country’s duty to guarantee that mass media like Tempo can continue to work in a safe environment and free from any pressures,” said Usman.

    Meanwhile, according to Press Council Chairman Yosep Stanley Adi Prasetyo, the satirical cartoon Tempo published is considered as a journalistic product and that FPI members should not be enraged since the President is also often criticized through satirical cartoons. 

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