Thu, 19 Jun 2003

Journalist assaulted by govt employee

MANADO, North Sulawesi: A journalist working for the Manado Post, Peggy Sampouw, 24, was allegedly assaulted by a civil servant at the Manado mayoralty office on Tuesday.

"Samadi, a civil servant at the mayoralty office, hit my face three times. He shouted while he was hitting me not to run 'certain articles'," Peggy told fellow journalists after reporting the case to the Manado Police.

Peggy suffered bleeding and bruising to her lips.

The Manado Post chief editor Suhendro Moroma said he would file a lawsuit.

The head of the local branch of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), Remon Pasla, said that AJI would demand Manado Mayor Wempie Fredrik be held responsible for the incident.

"The mayor should be responsible since the assault was committed by a civil servant at his office. We allege the violation was related to a mayoralty project handled by the mayor's wife, Ariane Nangoy," said Remon, who is also a journalist with Komentar daily.

He claimed that he had evidence of Ariane's involvement in monopolizing the mayoralty park's renovation project worth billions of rupiah.

The case is being handled by the police but no charges have been laid yet against the civil servant. -- JP