Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-142-2011
INDONESIA: Authorities cover up a journalist murder case
ISSUES: Freedom of expression; police negligence; impunity; prosecution system
Three police officers accused of the murder of journalist Ridwan Salamun have been acquitted. Ridwan Salamun was covering the communal clashes in Tual, Southeast Maluku in August last year as a camera man for SUN TV. The police officers witnessed the assault against Mr. Salamun but did nothing to prevent it, effectively consenting to the violence. In the subsequent examination, the prosecution refused to recognize Mr. Salamun’s capacity as a journalist during the clash. The case is currently in cassation at the Supreme Court. It follows a series of killings of journalists in Indonesia that have not been resolved by the authorities. (photo: Ridwan Salamun, source: SUN TV)
According to information the AHRC received from KontraS the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence, on 21 August 2010, at around 07.30 am, Ridwan Salamun, a cameraman of SUN TV was covering the clash between the inhabitants of neighbouring villages, Mangon and Banda Eli in Tual, Southeast Maluku. A group of villagers did not welcome his attempt to cover the event and struck him on the neck, back and thighs with machetes. Police who were watching the incident stood by and did nothing to halt the attack or assist the victim. Mr. Salamun was severely wounded and lay on the road side for approximately two hours before being evacuated by the community leader, Jhon Tamher to Kare hospital. Mr. Salamun died one hour later from his injuries.