Pacific Media Watch

17 October 2011

WEST PAPUA: Journalists assaulted in Freeport mine strike

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Striking miners at Freeport's Grasberg mine in Papua. Photo:

JAYAPURA (Jakarta Post / Pacific Media Watch): Journalists Duma Tato Sanda from Cahaya Papua and Syahrul from Radar Timika were assaulted by workers of PT Freeport Indonesia while covering an workers’ strike rally in Timika, Papua, last Monday.

According to, protesters beat up Duma, took his camera and seized his motorcycle. The mob also beat Syahrul over the head and took his camera.

“I told them that I was a journalist covering the demonstration but they just didn’t listen. They beat me up and then took my camera and motorcycle,” he said.

After seizing his property, the demonstrators pelted him with stones.

“I was running away when a motorcyclist passed by and gave me a ride,” he said.

Duma said he wanted his attackers taken to court and his property returned.

“I have reported this to the police,” he said.

PT Freeport workers’ association spokesman Julius Parorongan regretted the incident and suggested journalists stay away from the strikers.

“The workers are difficult to control now,” he said.

“Things are unpredictable. I don’t want another journalist to become a victim,” he said.

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Pacific Media Watch

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Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators. (cc) Creative Commons