Jakarta. Two foreign journalists have reportedly become victims of police violence and intimidation in Jakarta on Tuesday while covering a rally by Papuan students.
Archicco Guilianno of ABC Australia dan Step Vaessen of Al Jazeera were covering the demonstration when police reportedly asked Archicco to erase his footage. When he didn't immediately comply, identifying himself as a journalist in the process, he was beaten by an officer.
An account of the incident was reported on the website of Indonesia's Independent Alliance of Journalists (AJI).
Vaessen recorded the incident but was also ordered to erase the images. Police at some point forcibly did so, the AJI account says.
The incident triggered an immediate condemnation from AJI, with its chief, Suwarjono, saying in a press release that officers had clearly violated the law.
AJI urged the National Police to investigate.
Issues surrounding Papua, the scene of a decades-long, low-level insurgency, remain very sensitive in Indonesia, despite promises by President Joko Widodo to open up the area to foreign journalists.