Peers Denounce ‘Inhumane’ Attack on Indonesian Journalist
Camelia Pasandaran& Rahmat
The mob attack on a journalist’s home that reportedly led to his newborn daughter dying of shock has been denounced as an inhumane act by his peers.
“It goes beyond the limit of humanity,” Suryanto, a member of the Makassar branch of the Indonesian Association of Journalists (AJI), said on Thursday.
Suryanto was one of scores of journalists who took to the streets of the South Sulawesi capital to rally in solidarity with Dance Henukh, a reporter with the Rote Ndao News in East Nusa Tenggara’s Rote Island.
Suryanto said that he had no doubts that the attack last Sunday was sparked by Dance’s previous reporting on local corruption, and blamed the horrific incident on a growing culture of violence against journalists.
He added that the stabbing of a tvOne cameraman in Jakarta earlier this week was another case in point.
“There needs to be some kind of shock therapy so that these acts of violence stop,” Suryanto said.
Dance, whose home was stoned and burned down by the mob, has since gone into hiding with his family because of continued threats against them.
“There is nothing left. I couldn’t save anything, any belongings, not even clothes,” he told the Jakarta Globe from an undisclosed location. “It is too dangerous for me and my family [to return]. So we will start a new life.”
So far police have questioned three witnesses in the case.