Editor found dead under suspicious circumstances
"Given the circumstances of his death, there is reason to suspect Alfrets Mirulewan could have been killed for his work. Indonesia is earning a bad reputation as a place where journalists can be killed with impunity," said Bob Dietz, CPJ's Asia program coordinator.
Mirulewan's body was discovered on a beach, according to The Jakarta Globe. Insany Syahbarwaty, a coordinator for the Maluku Media Center, a local support group, told The Globe that Mirulewan had been looking into allegations of unlawful fuel sales. Mirulewan was working on the story with a colleague from another local publication when the two became separated while following a fuel truck, Syahbarwaty said.
Mirulewan had also covered recent local elections in the remote area, The Jakarta Post said. The Globe reported that the Indonesian Press Council, the Alliance of Independent Journalists, the Indonesian Journalists Association, and the Maluku Media Center are setting up a team to look into Mirulewan's death.
Two Indonesian television journalists were killed earlier this year, but there have been no prosecutions in their cases. In August, Ridwan Salamun, a videographer and reporter for Sun TV was found beaten, also in Maluku. Three weeks earlier, Ardiansyah Matra'is, of the local broadcaster Merauke TV was killed in Merauke, a small town on the southern tip of Papua province.
CPJ research shows that about 90 percent of journalists killed worldwide are local reporters, and that about 90 percent of all journalist killings go unsolved.