• Bali journalist associations condemn alleged police mistreatment of reporters at scene of raid on Chinese cyber fraud suspects

    Some journalists did, however, apparently manage to get footage of yesterday’s raid at Jl. Tukad Badung. Photo: Still from Nusa Bali via Info Badung

    Bali journalist associations are speaking out against alleged police mistreatment of two reporters on the island this week that they say violates the freedom of the press in Indonesia.

    Two journalists were allegedly intimidated and made to delete media from the scene of a police raid on Thursday, against a group of Chinese nationals suspected of participation in a cyber fraud syndicate.

    The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) of Denpasar along with the Indonesian Television Journalists Association (IJTI) Bali spoke on Friday about the alleged mistreatment of Reuters journalist, Wayan Sukarda and Radar Bali photographer, Miftahuddin Mustofa Halim.

    The two were carrying out their journalistic duties in accordance with appropriate procedures, says AJI Denpasar chairman, Hari Puspita.

    “Regrettably, the authorities deleted videos from a Reuters journalist and deleted photos from a photographer from Radar Bali, Jawa Pos Group. The officers took disappointing actions, forbidding the taking of pictures of Chinese suspects who were herded off the scene of the crime.

    “That’s public space and the journalists were working under protection of the Press Law. We condemn this behavior that hurt their journalistic duties,” IJTI Chairman Anak Agung Gede Kayika said on Friday, as quoted by Merdeka.

    “We ask that the police respect journalistic work and understand the Press Law. AJI and IJTI also appeal to journalists to carry out their duties professionally, obey the beacons of the Press Law and the Journalistic Code of Ethics,” he added.

    It was reported that at least 48 Chinese nationals had been arrested in a series of police raids against cyber fraud syndicates on Thursday.

    Prior to the raids, Bali Police spokesperson Comr. Ismi Rahayu had communicated to reporters that plans were underway to conduct raids in four locations where some 100 Chinese nationals were allegedly engaging in illegal activities.

    Based on this information, Halim went to take photos at one of the raid locations disclosed to the press in Denpasar on Jl. Tukad Badung. Another journalist from Kompas, Cokorda Yudhisthira, also came to the same location. But with no police in sight, Halim and Yudhisthira moved to “location four” in Kutuh Village, South Kuta.

    When they got to “location four”, the place was swarming with police, who were securing a house filled with Chinese nationals. Upon arrival at the scene, Halim was asked where he came from, so he presented his press ID. As he started taking photos of the raid with the camera on his phone, two armed police officers approached him, demanding that he delete any photos. Without giving him any time, the officers seized the phone and deleted the photos themselves, Merdeka’s report of the incident alleges.

    Meanwhile, Sukarda had come to the scene separately to film footage for Reuters, but as soon as police saw him, his video recordings were also deleted by police.

    The blocking of coverage violates Article 18 paragraph 1 of Law no. 40 of 1999 regarding the press, which is punishable by a maximum sentence of two years or a maximum fine of IDR500 million (US$37,000), according to IJTI.

    Sources: https://coconuts.co/bali/news/bali-journalist-associations-condemn-alleged-police-mistreatment-reporters-scene-raid-chinese-cyber-fraud-suspects/
    Re-posted by Pande

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