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Indonesia 12 May 2006

Journalist killed while investigating on corruption

Reporters Without Borders today strongly condemned the murder of Indonesian freelance journalist Herliyanto, who was investigating corrupt officials in eastern Java.

He was followed by six men on motorcycles before he was killed on 29 April 2006 near Tarokan, in the Probolinggo district of eastern Java, police said. He was apparently killed because of his work, they and his colleagues added, and his camera and notebook had disappeared.

The worldwide press freedom organisation said died while “trying to inform the public about corrupt local officials” and called on the authorities to arrest and prosecute those responsible.

The station TV 7 reported that he had discovered money to build a school in the village of Tulupari had been stolen by the village chief and his aides.

The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), which sent a fact-finding mission, said the village chief may have ordered him killed. Jakarta police told the AJI they were following the case.

Herliyanto, 38, worked freelance for the regional paper Radar Surabaya and for two tabloids, Delta Post and Jimber News.

The AJI has counted 53 cases of threats or physical attacks on journalists over the past year up to 3 May, 11 of them in eastern Java.

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