Indonesia journalists protest after violent attacks

Indonesia journalists protest after violent attacks

Indonesia journalists protest after violent attacks

Updated 19 October 2012, 14:14 AEDT

Groups of journalists in Indonesia have staged protests across the country, following violent attacks on members of the local press by military personnel.

On Tuesday, Indonesian soldiers allegedly attacked five journalists attempting to cover the crash of an Indonesian Air Force jet in Pekanbaru, Riau.

An amateur video posted on Youtube shows a uniformed man kicking a photo-journalist, wrestling him to the ground and pushing into his neck.

Nezar Patria, the former chairman of the Alliance of Independent Journalists in Indonesia, has told Radio Australia's Connect Asia program the incidence of attacks on journalists were more common that they should be.

"There are other similar incidents like what happened in Riau," Mr Patria said.

There are reports two other photographers also had their cameras confiscated.

Following the incident, journalists gathered at the Indonesian Air Force Military Police headquarters in Pekanbaru, demanding that officials begin an investigation of the incident to hasten the legal process.

"[There were] a lot of protests across the country, from Aceh to Papua that try to scrutinise why the violence happened," Mr Patria said.

He says it is still not clear why the journalists were attacked in the first place.

"They said the area was restricted and that the journalists were close to the hotspot," Mr Patria said.

"Unfortunately this was a very important incident because we wanted to know why the plane crashed, because now all of the Indonesian people pay attention to the weapon system of our national defence".

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