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Army members attack TV contributor in East Java, Indonesia

This statement was originally published on on 6 October 2016.

A contributor of a local television channel was physically attacked and intimidated by Army soldiers on 2 October 2016 in Madiun, East Java province.

Net TV's Soni Misdananto saw a vehicular accident involving several Army members and civilians during an annual festival in the area. He began to record the incident and several Army members, who allegedly confronted and beat up the festival participants involved in the accident. When the Army members saw that Misdananto was recording, they started to interrogate him.

Misdananto was hit using a curved iron, punched in the left cheek, and kicked in the body. He was forced to hand over his equipment, including a camera and memory card which has the accident footage, and press ID. An Army member destroyed the memory card and threatened Misdananto not to talk about what happened.

Members of the Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI, Alliance of Independent Journalists) Kediri chapter have advised Misdananto to see a doctor for a medico legal examination of his injuries and to report what happened when he was taken to a house full of Army members.

This incident is the the second in two months involving military personnel attacking journalists, according to AJI's national office.

Less than two months ago, seven journalists were attacked including a female journalist, who was sexually harassed, by members of the Air Force in Medan, North Sumatra.

The AJI Medan chapter, along with other journalists' organizations and a lawyer, formed a team to help the victims pursue this case. A military police detachment is investigating the incident and has already summoned witnesses.

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