“If the police really did come and prohibit the distribution of information, that is a form of blocking the press,” Press Council member Imam Wahdyudi told Tempo on Sunday.
Imam said that according to Press Law No. 40/1999, blocking the press is defined as the forceful or unlawful prohibition of publishing, distributing and/or broadcast of information.
Imam also said that that freedom of the press is clearly regulated in the law and 1945 Constitution, and is a guaranteed right of the people.
“Basically, if the police do not approve the contents of the publication, they can report it to the press council,” he said. Imam criticized the police for immediately going to the publisher’s printing office and prohibiting the sale of the magazine.
On Wednesday, July 3, after just days of the distribution of its first edition, Pelita Papua magazine encountered problems with the police last Wednesday for portraying the symbol of the Free Papua Movement on its cover. Police arrived at the printing office in Jayapura and asked the magazine to stop distributing. Officers also confiscated a few magazines and took them back to the police station to analyze.