Subject: INDONESIA Bulletin (AJI denounces South Sulawesi police chief's
harassment and intimidation of the local press)
IFEX - News from the international freedom of expression community
27 June 2008

AJI denounces South Sulawesi police chief's harassment and intimidation of
the local press

SOURCE: Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), Jakarta

(AJI/IFEX) - The following is a 24 June 2008 AJI press release:

AJI responds to a statement by the South Sulawesi police chief

During the 2nd South Sulawesi Regional Press Jamboree, held in Makassar on
30 May 2008, South Sulawesi Police Chief Insp. Gen. Sisno Adiwinoto said
that people did not need to exercise their right to respond in their
disputes with the press and could, instead, directly file complaints to the

This was not the first time the police chief had made this intimidating
suggestion. On 19 May, Sisno Adiwinoto made a similar statement when
delivering a speech before regents and mayors across South Sulawesi in the
office of the South Sulawesi governor. The police chief said that
sometimes journalists do as they like when publishing stories, so that the
images of government officials become negative in the eyes of the people.
"Just file a report to the police if you have objections," the police chief

The press community has expressed concern over the police chief's
statements, which they see as suggestions to the public to ignore the
mechanisms of settlement of disputes or public dissatisfaction over media
reports, in accordance with the Press Law. Law No. 40, Year 1999,
stipulates a series of mechanisms for the resolution of such disputes via
the right to respond and the right to issue a correction.

On 31 May, South Sulawesi journalists, who form part of the Coalition
against Press Criminalization, compiled signatures in opposition to the
police chief's statement. In addition, the coalition staged a protest on 3
June in Makassar.

AJI has stated that it:

1. Regrets the statement of South Sulawesi Police Chief Insp. Gen. Sisno
Adiwinoto, who suggested that the public directly report a journalist whose
report is considered harmful to police. This statement has clearly ignored
the mechanisms already provided for by Press Law No. 40, Year 1999.

2. Supports the efforts and acts committed by journalists in South
Sulawesi, particularly those who have joined the Coalition against Press
Criminalization, to fight against efforts to criminalize the actions of
journalists who carry out their profession in line with the journalistic
code of ethics.

3. Calls on the public to keep prioritizing press-related dispute
settlements through the mechanisms provided by the Press law, namely
through the right to respond and the right to issue a correction.

Jakarta, 24 June 2008

Heru Hendratmoko

Abdul Manan
Secretary General

For further information, contact the Alliance of Independent Journalists
(Aliansi Jurnalis Independen, AJI), Jl. Kembang Raya No. 6, Kwitang, Senen,
Jakarta Pusat 10420, Indonesia, tel: +62 21 315 1214, fax: +62 21 315 1261,
e-mail: sekretariat@ ajiindonesia. org (please cc
sekretariatnya_ aji@yahoo. com), Internet: http://www.ajiindon esia.org

The information contained in this alert is the sole responsibility of AJI.
In citing this material for broadcast or publication, please credit AJI.
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