INDONESIA: Journalist, kiosk owner receive AJI awards

Journalist commended for resiliency in defending himself in an alleged defamation case

The Jakarta Post
Thursday, August 6, 2009

By ID Nugroho

The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) announced Thursday journalist Jupriadi "Upi" Asmaradhana and letter-writing kiosk owner Khoe "Aseng" Seng Seng winners of the Udin and Tasrif Awards due to the press freedom cases they were facing.

The AJI also declared the mastermind behind the murder of Balinese journalist AA Narendra Prabangsa as the enemy of the country's press.

Head of the AJI Nezar Patria said his institution would give awards to several reporters for their influential journalistic works. They are Levianer Silalahi from RCTI TV station, Irvan Imamsyah from radio station KBR 68H and Bagja Hidayat from Tempo magazine.

"We will officially give the awards to the winners tomorrow at Usmar Ismail Hall in Jakarta," Nezar said.

He said Upi deserved to receive the Urip award thanks to his courageous efforts in his fight against the South Sulawesi Police chief Insp. Gen. Sisno Adiwinoto in an alleged defamation case.

The accusation was filed after Upi led a November rally against Sisno objecting to the latter's statement that grants parties accusing news publishers of slander to go directly to the police rather than granting the press the right to respond the allegations. Upi is waiting for the local court's verdict on the case.

While Aseng, Nezar said, had been acting so bravely in the face of lawsuits from developer PT Duta Pertiwi, thus making him worthy of receiving the Tasrif Award.

Aseng was declared guilty and sentenced to one year's probation for libeling the company.