Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Jakarta, July 7, 2010  (ANTARA) - Various parties have deplored Tuesday morning`s Molotov bomb attack on Tempo magazine`s office building, characterizing the incident as an attempt to terrorize the press and restrict its freedom.
Unidentified persons threw three Molotov bombs at the publication`s office building on Proklamasi street, central Jakarta, at 2.45 am Western Indonesian Standard Time (WIB) Tuesday (July 6).
The bombs did not cause any damage nor casualty because they landed in the building`s parking lot. The fire from the bombs was put out by the office`s security guards immediately. Besides, the incident happened when the office was almost deserted as no printing activity was going on.
The magazine`s editor-in-chief, Wahyu Muryadi, said later two of the bombs exploded and one did not.
"The perpetrators who rode on a motorbike from the eastern to western direction threw three Molotov bombs from outside the fence," he said.
Tempo has reported the incident to the Jakarta Police office and the Matraman Metro police sector for investigation.
"About the motive, let us wait until the police officers find out. I really don`t know why someone should want to threw Molotov bombs at our office," he said.
Wahyu Muryadi said the Molotov cocktail throwing was a criminal act which was aimed at terrorizing the press and mock its freedom.
However, he said, the magazine`s personnel had not become scared or felt intimidated by the crime.
In reaction to the criminal act against the magazine, the chairman of the Press Council, Bagir Manan, Tuesday (July 6) strongly deplored the attack.
"It doesn`t make sense that in the current democratic era where freedom of expression and press freedom are respected, there is still a party that chooses violence," Manan told ANTARA.
He urged the police to take appropriate action to solve the case in order to protect press freedom.
Manan said anybody who was not satisfied about a press` report must seek redress through a legal mechanism in accordance with the Press Law.
Similar to the view expressed by the Press Council chairman, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto also deplored the incident.
"(We) deplore the irresponsible Molotov bomb attack on Tempo`s office building. The security authorities must find the perpetrators who deserve to be punished in accordance with the existing law," the minister said in a short-text message received by ANTARA here Tuesday.
Whoever did the attack must face the legal consequences, he said.
Another strong comment from a legislator from the ruling Democrat Party, Ramadhan Pohan, who condemned the crime against Tempo.
"It was an uncivilized act. I condemn this fascist and anti-democracy act," he said.
He added the attack was a threat against press freedom and a setback for democracy. "Therefore, the police must immediately seize the actors and uncover their motive," he said.
The perpetrators must be punished severely "to deter other such anti-democracy elements" , he said, adding press freedom must be made to prevail.
The Indonesian Journalists Association (PWI)`s chairman and secretary, respectively Margiono dan Hendry CH Bangun also voiced condemnation.
To follow up the Tempo`s report, Police at noon on Tuesday questioned five witness over the Molotov cocktail attack on the office building of Tempo news magazine earlier in the day.
"We are still investigating the motive for the Molotov cocktail bombing," Central Jakarta Police Chief Senior Commissioner Hamidin said.
Police found the remnants of three Molotov cocktails - one bottle still intact - at the crime scene and took the objects to Police forensic laboratory for tests, Hamidin said.
According to information gathered from the witnesses, the small bombs were lobbed at the Tempo magazine office building by two men wearing black leather jackets riding on a motorcycle. After the act, they rode off in western direction.
Jakarta Police spokesperson Senior Commissioner Boy Rafli Amar said the Molotov cocktail terror was not related to the stories Tempo had published on senior police officers owning suspicious amounts of money in their bank accounts.
Tempo`s latest edition ran stories covering suspicious bank accounts of high-ranking police officers as its cover story.
The magazine in its early July edition reported that at least seven high-ranking police officers were hoarding billions of rupiah in their bank accounts, transferred from third parties.
The National Police said it was planning to file a lawsuit against Tempo magazine over the stories.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has ordered National Police Chief (Kapolri) Bambang Hendarso Danuri to tackle the case as reported by Tempo on alleged amounts of money in some police high ranking officers` bank accounts.
Speaking before chairing a limited cabinet meeting at his office here on Monday (July 5), the President said the police chief should make every possible effort to check the truth of the report and, if it was true, to clarify the matter and prevent the recurrence of similar cases.
Meanwhile, Indonesia`s National Police Chief General Bambang Hendarso Danuri immediately refuted an allegation that the attack on the Tempo office was related to the magazine`s latest coverage on the alleged certain police officers` bank accounts.
"In dealing with this case (the dispute with Tempo), we prefer to ask for mediation from the Press Council," the general said as quoted by Kompas daily Wednesday (July 7).
He said there was a possibility that a third party tried to make use of the situation, "however the National Police affirm that we have nothing to do with it (the attack)."
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(T.F001/A/F001/F001) 07-07-2010 14:03:11

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