Last Updated: Monday, 19 February 2018, 14:34 GMT

Attacks on the Press in 2006 - Snapshots: Indonesia

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 2007
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 2006 - Snapshots: Indonesia, February 2007, available at: [accessed 20 February 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The South Jakarta District Court dismissed charges against Teguh Santosa for publishing a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad in February. Judges ruled in September that the case was too weak to bring to trial. Santosa, editor of Rakyat Merdeka's online edition, faced up to five years in prison on charges of defaming Islam. Santosa removed the drawing from the Web site and issued a public apology after local Muslim groups protested.

Herliyanto, a freelance reporter with the Radar Surabaya, and Jimber News Visioner newspapers, was found dead with numerous stab wounds on April 29 in a wooded area near the town of Banyuanyar in East Java province. The Alliance of Independent Journalists said Herliyanto was investigating corruption allegations involving school construction funds in the village of Tulupari. CPJ confirmed that Herliyanto, who, like many Indonesians, used only one name, was killed because of his work as a journalist. On September 26, Probolinggo police arrested three men suspected of involvement in the murder and identified four additional suspects.

In February, the Indonesian Supreme Court overturned the 2004 criminal libel conviction of Tempo magazine's top editor, Bambang Harymurti. The three-judge panel ruled unanimously that civil, and not criminal, laws should apply. Lower courts had applied criminal statutes to convict and sentence Harymurti to a one-year prison term in September 2004. The charges stemmed from a March 2003 Tempo article alleging that prominent businessman Tomy Winata stood to profit from a fire at a Jakarta textile market. Winata, who denied any connection to the fire, subsequently launched several civil and criminal actions against the magazine.

Killed in 2006 in Indonesia

Herliyanto, Radar Surabaya and Jimber News Visioner, April 29, 2006, Probolinggo

Reporter Herliyanto was killed by a group of assailants while riding his motorcycle in a forested area connecting the villages of Tulupari and Tarokan in the Banyuanyar district of East Java province. Herliyanto, 40, was stabbed in the stomach, neck, and head shortly after evening prayers, according to the Probolinggo General Hospital's autopsy report.

Banyuanyar police investigators found the slain journalist's motorcycle, wallet, camera, and notebook about 100 feet (30 meters) away, according to CPJ sources. Five days later, a villager found and turned over to police investigators the slain reporter's cell phone with the SIM card missing, CPJ sources said.

On September 26, Probolinggo police arrested three suspects identified as Slamet, 35, Nipa Cipanjar, 27, and Su'id, 50, all of whom were residents of Alun-alun village in nearby Ranuyoso district, according to CPJ sources. Police also publicly identified four additional suspects identified as Juri, Leung, Slamet, and Abdul Basyir, none of whom were immediately apprehended. It is customary for many Indonesians to use only one name.

According to public statements made on September 29 by Probolinggo Resort Police Chief Nana Sudjana, Herliyanto's murder was directly related to the journalist's April 9 newspaper report concerning official corruption in a bridge project in the nearby village of Rejing. Herliyanto's report alleged that 120 million rupiah (US$13,165) was pilfered from a local infrastructure fund, CPJ sources said.

Sudjana accused Basyir, the village official who oversaw the Reijing bridge project, of both planning and participating in the murder. The police official said he drew his conclusions from the statements of the three detained witnesses. Probolinggo police said they recovered Herliyanto's missing SIM card from a local villager and discovered that Basyir had called him in the afternoon of the day that he was killed.

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