Arif Wibowo, freelance photographer who contributed for Tempo saw an unordinary scene: some military tanks parked in the yard of Gadjah Mada University Balairung which is actually a civil zone. In fact, Indonesian Vice President Boediono was visiting his alma mater that day. Suddenly, a man who is an army shouted to him, “Bastard!”. Then a lieutenant named Rizal W hold Arif’s neck crudely and asked him to erase all pictures he took on the tanks. Being surrounded by some armies, he erased all of the photos in a pinch.
One year later Abro, Arif’s nickname, hangs up his camera. He is now getting himself to be in duty on The Extension of Family Planning and Women’s Empowerment of Sleman Regency. Being a civil servant gives him a guarantee of future, instead of keeping him away from distress of journalistic works. Even though it is monotonous, he believe that life is like a circle.
It is actually a portrait of journalist’ life in Indonesia: been closed to harshness. Indonesian Journalist Alliance (AJI) notes that in 2010 there were 51 cases of violence. In the next year, it decreased to 49 cases. In that year, 19 cases were perpetrated by public officials. Meanwhile, Indonesian Council of Press notes 66 cases of violence occurred in 2010. In the next year, it decreased to 57. The high level of violence against media workers is a reflection of Indonesia, whichis touted as one of the largest democracy in the world.
This photo story was created for the Human Rights Story Photo Workshop, held by National Human Rights Commission and Poros Photo in 2012.