JOURNALIST'S BODY FOUND, ANOTHER REACHES SAFETY
Missing since 20 May, one day after Indonesia's government declared martial law in Aceh and launched a massive military offensive against separatist rebels, Jamal's body was recovered from a river on 17 June in the capital, Banda Aceh.
The motive behind his murder remains unclear, says CPJ, which is urging free-expression advocates to write letters of protest to the Indonesian government (See: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/51066/).
Meanwhile, CPJ reports that American free-lance journalist William Nessen surrendered himself to Indonesian authorities on 24 June and is in custody. Nessen agreed to be questioned by authorities in the company of a United States diplomat. CPJ was involved in talks with the Indonesian government to secure Nessen's safety.
A free-lance reporter and photographer, Nessen had been traveling with a group of separatist Free Aceh Movement (GAM) rebels who recently came under attack from Indonesian government troops. Nessen has been covering the rebel insurgency in Aceh for years and is known for having rare access to GAM rebels, CPJ says.
CPJ, IFJ and WAN say attacks against journalists in Aceh have been increasing since Indonesia imposed martial law on 19 May. The Indonesian government has also made moves to hinder reporting on the conflict.
Indonesia's military commander in Aceh, Major General Endang Suwarya, has warned journalists not to report any statements issued by GAM leaders saying, "I want all news published to contain the spirit of nationalism." Authorities have also announced plans to ban all foreign journalists from reporting in Aceh, CPJ says.
Visit these links:
- IFJ Report on Aceh: http://www.ifj-asia.org/indonesia030606.html
- CPJ: http://www.cpj.org/news/2003/Indonesia24june03na.html
- Human Rights Watch Backgrounder on Aceh: http://hrw.org/backgrounder/asia/aceh060503bck.htm