Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 January 2018, 09:04 GMT

Attacks on the Press in 2011 - Indonesia

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date 22 February 2012
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 2011 - Indonesia, 22 February 2012, available at: [accessed 23 January 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.

Key Developments

  • Journalists in remote areas vulnerable; one seriously hurt in stabbing.

  • Corruption is widespread – and a very dangerous beat for reporters.

With no work-related deaths reported in 2011, Southeast Asia's largest economy and most populous country pulled back from its record high of three fatalities in 2010. The country's vibrant media remained under threat, however, particularly in remote areas. Banjir Ambarita, a contributor to the Jakarta Globe, suffered serious injuries in a March stabbing in apparent reprisal for coverage that linked police to a prisoner sex abuse scandal. No prosecutions were brought in the case by late year. CPJ research shows that corruption was an extremely dangerous beat for reporters; corruption itself was widespread, according to international monitors. Three men were acquitted in the 2010 murder of TV journalist Ridwan Salamun in remote Maluku, with no new arrests made. In June, the Supreme Court acquitted Playboy Indonesia publisher Erwin Arnada, who had been unjustly jailed for eight months on politicized charges of public indecency. While Internet penetration was a relatively low 9.1 percent, Indonesia had the world's second largest number of Facebook subscribers. Legislation passed by the Senate in October would give the intelligence agency expansive new powers to tap telephones and track other communications. The measure awaited President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's signature in late year.

[Refworld note: The sections that follow represent a best effort to transcribe onto a single page information that appears in tabs on the CPJ's own pages, which also include a number of graphics not readily reproducible here. Refworld researchers are therefore strongly recommended to check against the original report: Attacks on the Press in 2011.]

Killed in 2011: 0

No journalists were killed in 2011, although a reporter was stabbed after reporting on possible police sexual abuse of prisoners. No charges were brought in the assault. Journalists in provincial areas remained targets of violence.

Victims who covered corruption: 75%

CPJ data show that Indonesian journalists covering corruption have been at great risk. Two-thirds of those killed for their work since 1992 had reported on official corruption.

Beats covered by victims in Indonesia:

75% Corruption
38% Politics
13% Business
13% Crime
13% Culture

(The data add up to more than 100 percent because more than one beat applied in some cases.)

Global corruption ranking: 100th

Transparency International ranked Indonesia in the bottom half of its 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index. Indonesia's ranking of 100 out of 178 compared poorly to other Southeast Asian nations.

Transparency International's 2011 Global Corruption ranking:

Singapore: 5
Malaysia: 60
Thailand: 80
Indonesia: 100
Vietnam: 112
Philippines: 129

(The higher the number, the greater the level of corruption.)

Internet penetration: 9.1%

Penetration remained low due to geographic dispersion and weak infrastructure. Data from the International Telecommunication Union put Indonesia's penetration below several other Asian nations:

Regional Internet penetration, according to the ITU:

South Korea: 83.7 percent
Japan: 80
China: 34.3
Vietnam: 27.6
Philippines: 25
Indonesia: 9.1
India: 7.5

Facebook use: 2nd

Although the country lags in Internet penetration, social media platforms were widely used. In 2011, Indonesia ranked second worldwide in total Facebook users, according to the social media statistics aggregator Socialbakers.

Top five in Facebook use as of November 2011:

1. United States: 156 million
2. Indonesia: 40.8 million
3. India: 38 million
4. United Kingdom: 30.5 million
5. Turkey: 30.4 million

Copyright notice: © Committee to Protect Journalists. All rights reserved. Articles may be reproduced only with permission from CPJ.

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