July 21, 2024

Pressure grows

Police in Indonesia are facing increased pressure by independent bodies, including the Press Council and the Indonesia Police Watch (IPW), to fully investigate the potential gambling-linked death of a journalist and three family members.

killed in a blaze at his home on June 27

Tribarata TV journalist Sempurna ‘Rico’ Pasaribu, 47, was killed in a blaze at his home on June 27 along with his wife, their child, 12, and a grandchild aged three. It took place in Kabanjahe, a city in Indonesia’s North Sumatra Province.

Author and human rights activist Andreas Harsono took to X on July 2 with a photo of the journalist’s daughter beside the graves of her father, mother, and siblings:

According to The Jakarta Post on Thursday, the fatal blaze occurred after Sempurna reported on a gambling incident allegedly involving members of the Indonesian military. The gambling angle to Sempurna’s death was brought to the world’s attention after an investigation by an independent fact-finding team from the North Sumatra Journalist Safety Commission (KKJ).

Call for action

After the KKJ’s report, many independent media bodies have urged authorities to investigate allegations the military was behind the fire that killed Sempurna.

Earlier this week, the Press Council urged both “National Police and North Sumatra Police chiefs to form a team to investigate the case fairly and impartially,” while advocating protection for the victim’s family. The Council stated a journalist like Sempurna doing his job:

shouldn’t be a justification to commit an act of violence against him.”

The IPW followed suit, urging authorities to take in-depth investigative action over the journalist’s death which, if the allegations prove true, is punishable under the country’s Press Law that guarantees the safety of journalists working in Indonesia.

“Whoever the perpetrators are, whether the executors on the ground or the masterminds, they should be arrested and answer to the law,” stated IPW head Sugeng Teguh Santoso.

Police respond

According to media reports, as of Wednesday police had questioned 16 people, including several key witnesses “who truly know about the events surrounding the fire,” stated North Sumatra Police spokesperson Senior Commander Hadi Wahyudi.

Wahyudi added investigators were essentially using advanced CSI techniques “to  conclude the cause of the fire based on various perspectives.”

“We want to solve this case based on science and facts,” added the police chief.

Army spokesperson Major General Nugraha Gumilar, meanwhile, called on the public to remain objective until the investigation in Sempurna’s death is concluded. If the allegations against the military hold up, Gumilar promised repercussions in line with military law. “We will definitely punish them,” he said.

The post Indonesia Police Under Fire to Probe Alleged Gambling-Linked Death of Journalist appeared first on Vegas Slots Online News.

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