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Papuan TV journalist allegedly beaten by local chief

Tuesday 13 Sep 2011
A television journalist working for Top TV has allegedly been severely beaten by a district chief in West Papua New Guinea, Scoop reports.

The reporter, Mufriadi, who reports on the district of South Sorong, was covering an assault on the office of the district chief when the alleged beating occurred on Friday morning.

“We received information from Mufriardi by phone who said he had been attacked and beaten by the bupati (district chief) and his assistant, along with four other policemen,” Top TV chief editor Amir Siregar told the press.

Mr Siregar said that after Mr Mufriardi was beaten, his camera was seized and he was taken to a room at the district chief’s office for questioning.

Mr Mufriadi explained that he had received a request by phone to cover the assault being made on the bupati‘s office by people who own traditional rights to the land.

Upon his arrival, Mr Mufriadi said he was taken to the district chief’s office by his assistant.

“The bupati came out of his car and slapped me in the face, after which I was subjected to a beating by his assistants, which lasted for about 10 minutes.”

He said he was subjected to verbal abuse and told to write a report along the lines of what they wanted.

Viktor Mambor, chairman of the Independent Alliance of Journalists in Papua, said that he encouraged Top TV to seek legal action and report the incident to the authorities.