Protesters Intimidate, Assault TV News Crews Covering '112 Rally'

BY :BAYU MARHAENJATI

FEBRUARY 11, 2017

Jakarta. Journalists from two local media outlets were allegedly intimidated and assaulted by protesters while covering the mass prayer gathering at the Istiqlal Mosque in Central Jakarta on Saturday (11/02).

Desi Fitriani, a senior reporter at Jakarta-based Metro TV, said she was assaulted outside the mosque.

"It is correct [that I was assaulted]. I am now at the Central Jakarta Police [to report the matter]. I will also undergo a forensic medical examination," Desi told Beritasatu.com.

She said someone struck her over the head with a bamboo stick, which caused some bruising.

There were also reports of assaults on other members of the media.

"[I was hit] in the stomach and on the shoulders. They hit me with their hands, while some kicked my legs," said Ucha, a Metro TV cameraman.

Dino, a cameraman working for Global TV, said he was intimidated by protestors while filming the mass prayer inside the mosque. He said he was accosted by a group of people who accused him of being impolite by calling Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab by name.

"I was questioned; surrounded. They told me all TV [reporters] should say 'Habib Rizieq,' not only Rizieq. They said it loudly," Dino said.

The situation was brought under control when members of the military stepped in to protect the media crews.

Thousands of Muslims participated in the so-called 112 rally, led by the Indonesian Muslim Forum (FUI), to demand that a Muslim leads Jakarta instead of incumbent Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama.

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