Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Indonesia 10 May 2005

Two journalists jailed as government seeks to tighten criminal law

Reporters Without Borders condemned nine-month prison sentences for defamation handed down on 4 May 2005 to Darwin Ruslinur and Budiono Syahputr a, respectively chief editor and managing editor of the Sumatra weekly Lampung’s Koridor.

The organisation called on the Indonesian authorities to annul the archaic law dating back to the colonial era that provides for prison sentences in defamation cases. The law, put in place to silence dissidents and pro-independence movements, is still regularly used by the courts.

Ruslinur and Syahputra were found guilty of defaming Alzier Dianis Thabranie, president of the Lampung branch of the Golkar party (of former President Suharto) in an article accusing him of embezzlement. The court ruled that the journalists had not checked their facts with Alzier himself.

These sentences are all the more shocking since they come at a time when the government is proposing a new criminal code that will allow legal action against journalists who write articles, among others, violating a ban on preaching communist doctrine or disclosing state secrets. Any infringement is punishable with jail sentences of up to seven years.

In this country
14 April - Indonesia
YouTube accessible again in Indonesia
11 September - Indonesia
Supreme court orders Time Asia to pay former dictator 100 million dollars in damages
14 December - Indonesia
A fifth documentary banned at Jakarta film festival
20 September - Indonesia
Jakarta court dismisses case against Santosa
14 September - Indonesia
Five Australian journalists expelled from Papua

in the annual report
Indonesia - Annual report 2008
Indonesia - Annual report 2007
Indonesia - Annual report 2006

4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election

Asia archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Asia press releases
3 June - North Korea
Pyongyang judges asked to be lenient with two American journalists
3 June - Afghanistan
US forces arrest a journalist in Khost
3 June - China
“Tank Man” photo displayed outside Chinese embassy in Paris on eve of Tiananmen Square massacre
2 June - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
2 June - Sri Lanka
Press freedom activist badly beaten in Colombo, hospitalised