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Indonesian journalist Fuad Muhammad Syafrudin dies after attack

An Indonesian journalist with the Yogyakarta-based daily "Bernas"
died on 16 August 1996 of injuries sustained in an attack at his
home three days earlier. The attack is believed to be related to
articles he had written.

Fuad Muhammad Syafrudin, 33, died after three days in intensive
care at a Catholic hospital in the ancient Javanese city of
Yogyakarta, around 500 kilometres east of Jakarta. He failed to
regain consciousness after the attack. According to his wife,
Syafrudin suffered serious injuries to the head and stomach after
he was attacked by two unidentified visitors at his house on 13
August. The visitors used a metal stick to hit him in his living
room, while his wife was preparing the tea. They fled using a
motorcycle parked in front of the house.

Days before the attack, Syafrudin filed reports on allegations
that some government officials, apparently involving Bantul Regent
Sri Roso Sudarmo, had misused government funds. A journalist said
the regent was angered by the reports and once said he would like
to teach Syafrudin "a lesson."

Around 2,000 people, including Yogyakarta journalists, attended
his burial. Colleagues believe the attack was related to articles
on land disputes and corruption involving government officials in
the Bantul regency, a suburb of Yogyakarta, where Syafrudin was
working. He was known to be bold and straightforward in his

The "Bernas" daily newspaper is a subsidiary of the KOMPAS-
Gramedia business group, the biggest media corporation in
Indonesia. Yogyakarta itself is known as a university town. The
newspaper is the smaller of two local newspapers there.

His colleagues say Syafruddin was an idealistic journalist. Some
days before the attack, a number of mysterious people reportedly
looked for him at the "Bernas" office. When his wife asked him
about it, he answered, "What I write is the facts. If I have to
die, I will accept it." He is survived by his wife and two

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:
  • urging them to thoroughly investigate the killing of Fuad
    Muhammad Syafruddin and to apprehend and prosecute those
  • asking that they publicly disclose any subsequent developments in
    this case

    Appeals To

    His Excellency General Suharto
    Office of the President
    Bina Graha, Jalan Veteran No. 17
    Jakarta Pusat, Indonesia
    Fax: +62 21 360 517/367 782

    Agung Singgih, S.H.
    Attorney General
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Fax: +62 21 720 8557

    Haji Oetoyo Usman
    Minister of Justice
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Fax: +62 21 525 3095

    Ali Alatas
    Minister of Foreign Affairs
    Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    Jalan Taman Pejambon 6
    Jakarta Pusat, Indonesia
    Fax: +62 21 345 0517

    Please copy appeals to the originator if possible.

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