JAKARTA – Several journalists’ associations in Indonesia condemned on Friday the threats and attacks against local and international journalists during the protests and riots that took place in Jakarta earlier this week after the reelection of President Joko Widodo.
“Some of our members have been targeted during rallies and also on social media in what needs to be addressed to prevent this becoming a threat to press freedom in Indonesia,” the Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club said in a statement.
At least seven Indonesian journalists were attacked during the riots, which took place during the night between Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI).
The AJI urged the government to lift restrictions on circulating information on the internet, aimed at preventing the spread of rumors.
The group said in a statement on Thursday that Indonesia’s 1945 constitution established that everyone had the right to communicate and obtain information.
On Wednesday, Security Minister Wiranto had announced certain restrictions on social media, including a ban on distributing pictures and videos on messaging applications, which remained in place on Friday.
The riots started on Tuesday after Widodo was officially announced the winner of the general elections held in April against his main opponent Prabowo Subianto, a former military general who rejected the results, alleging electoral fraud.
Prabowo was expected to challenge the electoral outcome in the Constitutional Court on Friday.
Clashes between Prabowo’s supporters and anti-riot police in central Jakarta have killed at least seven people, while hundreds were injured and more than 250 arrested, out of which dozens of suspects continue to be held in police custody.