Thu, 11 Aug 1994

Rights body meets with journalists' alliance

JAKARTA (JP): The National Commission on Human Rights yesterday met with the representatives of the newly formed Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI).

Commission Secretary General Lopa Baharuddin told the alliance leaders that they should approach the government for an endorsement.

Lopa suggested that the organization also hold dialogs with various parties, including the Press Council.

"It would be a very honorable thing to do if you go to the government and ask for dialog," he said.

AJI was established last weekend in Sirnagalih, West Java, by more than 80 journalists from major cities in Java such as Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta and Surabaya.

They were journalists who said the Association of Indonesian Journalists (PWI) failed to protect the interests of its members when the government banned three magazines, Tempo, Editor and DeTIK, in June.

In its declaration, the alliance reaffirmed the freedom of speech, freedom of access to information and freedom of association as the basic rights of all people.

Commenting on the declaration, Lopa said the Commission and the AJI have the common objective of improving the condition of human rights in the country. (rid)