Covering the Repatriation of Residents, Journalists Experienced Intimidation
A number of journalists reporting at the Grand Mosque of West Sumatra were intimidated and blocked from reporting by the police, on Saturday, August 5 2023.
That day, a number of journalists were present at the location, to cover the forced repatriation of the people of Air Bangis, West Pasaman district which ended in chaos.
These residents have held demonstrations at the office of the Governor of West Sumatra, from 31 July to 4 August 2023.
Several journalists experienced violence at this location, including Tribunnews journalist Nandito Putra, who was tased by police who were not wearing uniforms, while taking a video of the returning residents of Jorong Pigogah Pati Bubur in the courtyard of the West Sumatra Grand Mosque, for live broadcast on Facebook Tribunpadang.com
After two minutes of recording the condition of the residents, the journalist pointed the camera at the police, who were tugging at a woman.
Suddenly several officers dressed freely, grabbed Nandito's body, then forcibly took away his cell phone. The authorities asked what the purpose of recording that moment was.
Nandito replied that he was reporting. The journalist remains detained by the authorities. He was only released after two journalists, Aidil and Fachri Hamzah, protested and asked the police to release Nandito.
At that time, the police lifted Fachri Hamzah's collar and made threats.
Aidil Ichlas also received threats from the same apparatus when he tried to release Nandito.
Padang TV journalist, Dasril also experienced intimidation when taking a video of the arrest of one of the assistants from the Padang Legal Aid Institute.
Suddenly a police officer blocked Dasril from recording the incident. "Already, don't record it again!", he said.
A female journalist from Classy FM, Zulia Yandani, experienced violence at that location that day. Zulia, who was recording the conditions at that place, was suddenly approached by two people and asked her whereabouts.
Zulia explained that she was a journalist, but the authorities still grabbed Zulia's body and lifted her legs to take her to the car.