16 April 2010

TV Images of Tanjung Priok Violence too Inflammatory, Minister Says


Following the deadly clashes in North Jakarta on Wednesday, the government has requested that the media help maintain a conducive situation by desisting from broadcasting such gruesome images in the future.

“We are urging the mass media not to constantly broadcast such sadistic content because the images could provoke the public,” Minister for Communications and Information Technology Tifatul Sembiring was quoted as saying by news portal Detik.com. “Even though the images are blurred, the sadistic impression lingers,”

Two national TV stations, namely Metro TV and TVOne, carried live coverage of clashes between Tanjung Priok residents and public order officers on Wednesday, and images of people covered in blood and vehicles being burned were still being repeatedly broadcast on Thursday morning.

The unrest occurred after residents believed that public order officers had been sent to the area to tear down of the tomb of Habib Hasan bin Muhammad Al Hadad, a revered 18th-century ulema known as Mbah Priok. City officials have said the officers were there to demolish several buildings surrounding the tomb that had no permits, including the gate to the tomb complex, but not the tomb itself.

Three Satpol officers were killed and more than 100 people injured in the riot. Tifatul asked for calm on boths sides.

“Every one is advised to avoid provocation. Nobody benefits from this incident, we just ended up killing one another,” he said.

Tifatul also expressed his condolences for the victims' families.

“To the victims' families, please accept my condolences. This is a very important lesson for all of us and it must not be repeated in the future,” he said.

Photo: Jakarta Globe Residents threw rocks at public order officers during a clash in North Jakarta on Wednesday April 14 (JG Photo/Yudhi Sukma Wijaya)

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