Journalist Expelled, When Covering the Inauguration of the Vice Mayor of Padang, Indonesia
Several journalists were expelled while covering the inauguration of the Deputy Mayor of Padang, in the Auditorium of the West Sumatra Governor's Palace, Tuesday, May 9, 2023.
That day, dozens of media were present at the location to cover the inauguration. However, dozens of media outlets, including Merdeka.com, RadarSumbar, Tribunpadang.com, Langgam.id, Radarsumbar, Posmetro, Padang Ekspres, and Singgalang were forced to leave the location and were prevented from doing coverage at that location.
Reports from The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) and Press Legal Aids Institute from Padang, the expulsion was carried out by one of the honorary employees and an officer from the civil service police unit.
In the series of events there was also an officer dressed in a white shirt, who was suspected of being an employee of the West Sumatra Provincial Government, who said that journalists did not need to enter the inauguration room, because there would be a press release related to the activity.
The Press Legal Aids Institute from Padang suspected that there were instructions that were structured and systematic in nature to impede journalistic work from covering the incident.
The suspicion was based on the incident where journalists were prevented from entering the governor's palace a few days earlier.
Journalists who were victims reported to the local police on Wednesday, May 10 2023. That same day, the Coalition of Anti-Violence Journalists (KWAK) held a demonstration in front of the West Sumatra Governor's office to protest against the expulsion of the journalists.
KWAK was also present at the Ombudsman office representing West Sumatra to report the case of the expulsion of this journalist. Because it is suspected that there has been an abuse of power. In addition, it is suspected that the West Sumatra Provincial Government does not have clear procedures in covering government activities.
The journalist community was received by the Head of the Assistant for Prevention of the West Sumatra Ombudsman, Adel Wahidi. Adel explained that the Ombudsman would verify the report and would also check how the West Sumatra Provincial Government provided information to journalists.
The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Padang together with the coalition and The Padang Press Legal Aids Institute, continue to oversee the law enforcement process regarding this case report to the police.