Students Protest Attack On Paper

Submitted by Editor on Tue, 08/06/2004 - 16:51

MEDAN, Sumatra (JP Online/Pacific Media Watch): Hundreds of students from the University of North Sumatra (USU) held a protest rally in Medan on Monday, demanding that police investigate last week's attack on the offices of a campus newspaper.

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From: Asia-Pacific Network delaro at clear.net.nz
To: Pacific Media Watch pacific_media_watch at lists.c2o.org
Date: Saturday, June 5, 2004, 8:01:18 PM
Subject: [pacific_media_watch] 4435 INDONESIA: Students protest against attack on paper
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Title -- 4435 INDONESIA: Students protest against attack on paper
Date -- 5 June 2004
Byline -- None
Origin -- Pacific Media Watch
Source -- The Jakarta Post 1/6/2004
Copyright -- JP
Status -- Unabridged

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Students Protest Attack On Paper

by Apriadi Gunawan

MEDAN, Sumatra (JP Online/Pacific Media Watch): Hundreds of students from the University of North Sumatra (USU) held a protest rally in Medan on Monday, demanding that police investigate last week's attack on the offices of a campus newspaper.

They demonstrated at the university administration office, urging them to help with efforts to settle the case, so the attackers could be arrested.

The attack on the Voice of USU Tabloid's office took place at around 3 a.m. on Thursday by a group of unidentified people who smashed the doors and windows.

They also defaced the walls inside, all in a bid apparently to intimidate the newspaper staff.

The motive for the attack is not entirely clear. However, some believe it could have been triggered by an article run in the paper's latest edition, which was entitled "USU Has Poor Facilities".

It was the latest in series of attacks on the tabloid since it has been managed by students in 1995. The tabloid had been under control of the USU administrators when it began in 1985. 10 years later, its management was taken over by students.

Chief editor Erlina Sari Dalimunthe said that Thursday's attack was part of a terror campaign against her and other editorial staff members.

Several days before the incident, she said she had been threatened by four men on two motorcycles outside a USU store on Jl. Dr Mansoer.

Erlina said the men later pushed her motorcycle, causing her to fall.

"These are terror attacks against us. We don't know what motivated all of this," she said.

USU deputy rector Jhon Tafnu Ritonga agreed that the attacks should be thoroughly investigated, saying the case involved a university asset.

Though the tabloid is managed by the students, it remains a school asset, he explained.

Jhon said it was impossible for the administration to be involved in the violence.

He said that one day after the attack, the rector's office asked the tabloid's management to provide the chronology of the incident, so the campus administrators could be well-informed of it.

"The USU rector has the obligation to help investigate the destruction of the tabloid's office," he added.

Commenting on the poor security at the university over the attack, Jhon said the USU has only 20 security guards who cannot control all areas on the 100-hectare campus.

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