Aceh Journalist’s Death Believed Murdered: PWA


Banda Aceh, (TAG) – The caused of journalist’s death in southeast Aceh district believed murdered related to his reports. It’s known after a team of Aceh Journalists Association (PWA) investigated case in the area, the organization said Wednesday.
Muhammad AH, the chief of PWA, said that based on their investigation, they concluded the death of Darma Sahlan, 43, a journalist who working for north Sumatra capital Medan’s based Monitor weekly newspaper allegedly murdered, not in traffic incident as police stated earliers.

“We interviewed local residents whose houses just three meters from the scene. They admitted that they never heard collision to believed as a traffic incident,” he said.

Darma’s body was found in trenches near his motorcycle in a remote Lawe Dua village of Bukit Tusam sub-district in southeast Aceh, on February 5.
“His body sustained a blow to the head from a blunt object and injuries to the face. Skid marks were also found near the body,” Muhammad said.
“We also interviewed his family. They believed he was murdered and that the body was then placed in a ditch where he was found. So the cause of his death not in the traffic incident.”
Muhammad urged police to fully investigate and arrest the murderers. He also called all journalists’ organizations to advocate the case of Darma’s death.
Meanwhile a southeast police detective officer Muhammad Firdaus said the cause of Darma’s death still unclear yet because there was no single witness who seeing at the late midnight. Police, he said, still investigating the case.
“It’s still  no clear yet. All alibi still exploring and we need the time to reveal this case,” Firdaus said, adding that this case would be as a priority of local police’s tasks.
Police so far has verified with some witness at the scene, victim’s family and also his friends. “This case could not be revealed in the near future. We have to evaluate all facts, evidence and witness’s information,” he said.
Reporters Without Borders, a non-profit France based media organization, over the weekend urged authorities to fully investigate the death of Darma. It offered their condolences to Darma’s family
“We urge the authorities to do everything possible to shed light on his death, and to not rule out the possibility that he was murdered in connection with his work,” Reporters Without Borders said in a press statement.
Banda Aceh’s Alliance of Independent Journalist (AJI) previously called the police to seriously investigate the Darma’s death. “Police must work hard to investigate and unravel this case,” Mukhtaruddin Yacob, the chairman of AJI Banda Aceh, said.
"AJI condemned Darma's murder or anyone else that causes to pressure the freedom of the press" in Aceh. Police have to reveal the caused of the Darma’s death so the case will be clear. By seriously investigating the case, it also hope that the similar case not happen again in the future.”
AJI calls people that directly related or not to protect the works of journalism and respect the press freedom, Mukhtar said, adding the Aceh journalists and press organizations to oversee the case.
"We called journalists in Aceh to be on alert because terror and intimidation has been increasing recently," he said.[]
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