IMPERIUMDAILY.COM – JAKARTA – Minister of Communication and Information, Johnny Plate said, the government is preparing digital infrastructure to facilitate the dissemination of information.
According to him, the government’s commitment to freedom of information and freedom of the press. The government, he said, prepared the infrastructure to build 3,300 km of optical fiber for telecommunications facilities in Indonesia to facilitate the dissemination of information.
“Let’s use infrastructure intelligently and ensure that Indonesia has data sovereignty and protection for data users. We hope to have an integrated data base for the Indonesian database,” Johnny Plate said.
The Minister of Communication and Information emphasized that, in a discussion about the protection and safety of journalists at Erasmus Huis, the Dutch Embassy, Tuesday, December 10, 2019. Discussions commemorated International Human Rights Day.
The discussion on “Human Rights, Freedom of the Press, Protection and Safety of Journalists in Indonesia” was discussed in two sessions. This discussion was held in collaboration with MediaLink, LPDS, Sejuk, Tenpo Institute, AJI Indonesia with the support of the Dutch Embassy, the British Embassy, and International Media Support (IMS).
On this occasion, Puri Kencana Putri from Amnesty International
Indonesia, representing the Journalists Safety Committee was also present as a
According to him, journalists are the main pillars of press freedom so that in carrying out their duties, they must obtain legal protection from the state and get a guarantee of safety from media companies.
“Media workers and journalists must get certainty of protection, so that they can eradicate impunity and build a healthy climate and culture for democracy,” Puri Kencana said.
According to him, there are still many cases of violence experienced by journalists, such as when the demonstration in front of the Bawaslu office in May 2019 and when the demonstration rejected the controversy revision of the law in front of the RI House of Representatives.
In addition, the silencing of the media through reporting of journalistic work to the legal apparatus is also a real example.
Chairperson of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Indonesia, Abdul Manan, the speaker in the first session said that human rights are an important theme and should have received the attention of journalists and the media.
“One of the efforts made by AJI is to increase journalists’ awareness of this theme, by providing education and training to journalists as well as appreciation for journalists who make the best work on human rights themes,” Abdul Manan said.
In addition, what is more important to support press freedom is to continuously collect the government’s commitment to prosecute perpetrators of violence against journalists.
“Abandoning a case of violence against journalists can set a bad precedent in the future,” Abdul Manan stressed.
The Indonesian press is still under threat in the form of impunity for killers and perpetrators of violence against journalists in the past. The absence of legal proceedings against them could threaten the role of journalists in carrying out their functions. Therefore, the state must be able to work together so that journalists and the media can get protection and eliminate impunity.
In this event, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Lambert Grijn explained that freedom of the press was an important element in a democratic country. The media reflects the similarities and differences that exist in society. The role of the media like a mirror of society makes journalism an important part of good governance.
With debate and discussion, democracy grows. When there are differences of opinion, there is truth that we can find. For this reason, the media and journalists play a key role. There are hundreds to thousands of media in Indonesia reflecting freedom of the press in this country.
“The media also plays a key role in the growth of democracy in Indonesia especially since the last 20 years. Press Law No. 40 of 1999 provides a forum for protection for journalists and media crews and protects the rights of journalists, “Lambert said.
While the British Ambassador, Owen Jenkins, also expressed his views on freedom of the press. According to him, there needs to be a real commitment to provide protection for journalists in Indonesia. Because Freedom House assesses that the Indonesian press is not entirely free because of reports of violence and intimidation of journalists and concentration of media ownership.
“AJI notes that there are around 40-60 cases of violence against journalists each year. Therefore, I want a national action plan for the safety of journalists in Indonesia. This requires commitment from all parties and we want today’s activities to lead to real commitments to action, “said Owen Jenkins.
Meanwhile, Ranga Kalansooriya from International Media Support (IMS) also stressed the need for an action plan for the safety of journalists in Indonesia. The effort to realize this journalist’s safety action plan requires collaboration from various parties, both from government, non-government institutions, academics, press organizations and civil society organizations.
According to him, the Philippines has succeeded in compiling an action plan for the safety of journalists which has been prepared for two years, after conducting intensive dialogue with various stakeholders.
Another action plan is being prepared in Myanmar, whose discussion starts from January 2020.
Indonesia is a country that has enormous journalist resources.
“I hope we can jointly develop this action plan, so that if there is an attack on journalists, there are steps to deal with it,” said Ranga.
Appreciation of Journalistic Work
In this event, AJI Indonesia in collaboration with the Dutch Embassy gave an appreciation of the best work on human rights issues. The first best award, given to BBC Indonesia journalists, Callistalisa Wijaya and Dwiki Marta for the reportage titled “Dituding PKI, ‘ditelanjangi untuk cari cap Gerwani’: Kisah penyintas Tragedi 65 (Accused by the PKI,” was stripped to look for the Gerwani seal”: The story of survivors of the Tragedy 65)”. The second best award was won by Irwan Syambudi from Tirto.id, through the journalistic work “Upacara Doa di Bantul Dihentikan, Utiek Suprapti: ‘Saya Hindu’ (Prayer Ceremony in Bantul Terminated, Utiek Suprapti: ‘I am Hindu’). The third best award was won by Abdul Jalil from Solopos.com with a journalistic work entitled “Kisah Anak Terpidana Mati: Menjaga Harapan Hidup Sang Ibu (Bagian 1-5) (The Story of Children Convicted to Death: Keeping Their Life Expectant (Sections 1-5))”.
MediaLInk Director Ahmad Faisol said that although there were
cases of human rights violations that had not yet been revealed, he claimed to
be happy with the many media coverages on human rights issues. Currently there
are a lot of coverage on the issue of human rights in Indonesia.
“The report is not enough to move the public to report cases of violations that occur to the law enforcement agencies. This is homework for all of us,” he said. (adi)