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Indonesia 5 September 2005

Still no news of journalist kidnapped two weeks ago

There is still no news of newspaper reporter Elyuddin Telaumbanua, who was kidnapped by a group of unidentified men on 22 August in the southern part of the island of Nias (off the northwest coast of Sumatra). Hendrik Prayitno, the news editor of the daily Berita Sore, said Telaumbanua was kidnapped while reporting on a murder in the Teluk Dalam district. He recently wrote about a corruption case in which local officials are allegedly implicated. The police say they are investigating but refuse to link the kidnapping to Telaumbanua’s work.


Journalist kidnapped by six men on Nias island

Reporters Without Borders voiced concern today about the fate of newspaper reporter Elyuddin Telaumbanua, who was beaten and abducted by a group of six unidentified men on 22 August on the island of Nias, off the northwestern coast of Sumatra. There has been no word of him since then.

"We call on the Indonesian authorities to intervene in this case at once," the press freedom organisation said. "It is essential that the police start searching for Telaumbanua. The reports about his kidnapping are confused and a rapid investigation is needed to shed light on the case. Telaumbanua could be in grave danger and need our help."

Telaumbanua works for Berita Sore, a daily newspaper based in Medan, in the north of Sumatra. He was abducted while heading to Teluk Dalam with a friend on a motorcycle with the aim of carrying out a reporting assignment there. They were pursued and intercepted about 15 km from Teluk Dalam by six men, who beat both of them but only abducted Telaumbanua. The friend was therefore able to give an account of what happened.

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