Radar Bogor chief editor Tegar Bagja has described an attack on his office in Bogor, West Java, as “barbaric” and said the editorial team refused to apologize for a story on Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chief Megawati Soekarnoputri.
Nearly 100 PDI-P Bogor supporters and an executive staged a protest rally in front of the newspaper’s office on Wednesday, following an article by the newspaper that criticized a government allowance payable to Megawati as excessive.
One of the protestors included PDI-P Bogor secretary Ati Somaddikarya, Tegar said.
“They stormed our office lobby and chased our frightened female front office staffer. They tore up our newspapers, destroyed property such as chairs, a table and trash bin,” Tegar told The Jakarta Post on Thursday, adding that some of the protestors physically attacked employees.
“They kept hitting the table when conveying their aspirations and used foul language,” he added.
The newspaper published a headline story titled “Ongkang-ongkang Kaki Dapat Rp 112 Juta” (Earning Rp 112 million for nothing) in its Wednesday edition. The story reported that the government would pay the former president a monthly allowance of Rp 112 million (US$ 8,067) for her new role in a body promoting Pancasila state ideology.
The newspaper invited eight of the protestors to discuss the matter, during which they demanded the publication clarify the news story and issue a full-page apology.
“We agreed to make a follow-up story and clarify that Megawati never accepted the money, which we published in Thursday’s paper. But we can’t fulfill their demand to publish an apology [in the newspaper],” he said. (wit)