Eighteen Indonesian police officers died this year, a significant drop from 41 in 2014, according to Indonesia Police Watch. (Antara Photo/Agus Bebeng)

Journalists’ Alliance Condemns Police, Military for ‘Intimidation’ at Football Riot


OCTOBER 19, 2015

Jakarta. The Independent Alliance of Journalists, or AJI, has criticized police and military for the alleged intimidation of journalists covering the President’s Cup football final in Jakarta on Sunday.

The high-profile match featured a heavy security presence in light of violent attacks by fans of Jakarta’s Persija football club, which did not make the final, against fans of Persib Bandung, which played in and won the match against Sriwijaya FC of Palembang, South Sumatra.

As part of security measures, police and military prohibited reporters from covering the sporadic clashes between Persija hooligans and security personnel.

“The officers did not want any of the journalists to capture the chaotic moments and so they took away the journalists’ cameras and cellphones and forced them to delete the videos and pictures of the clashes,” Ahmad Nurhasim, the chairman of the AJI’s Jakarta chapter, said on Monday.

“An officer came up to me and said that this [President’s Cup] was a big event. He said ‘Stop making news about the clashes,’” said a reporter who witnessed the clashes.

The AJI said the security officers’ actions constituted intimidation and a violation of press freedom under the 1999 Press Law.

The alliance has called on the police and the military to punish the officers involved in the media crackdown.