Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Assassination Interview Censored by METRO TV, Indonesia.

This afternoon METRO TV, a major Indonesian news channel, invited me to come on the air live for 30 minutes at 8pm tonight WIB (Western Indonesia Time) to discuss my recent report on political assassinations by the country's US-backed armed forces (TNI).

I agreed, and when we went on the air, by phone, shortly after 8pm, I urged viewers to go to this website to read the full, detailed report and then began to name the names of TNI people implicated in the killings.

Within a couple of minutes I was pulled off the air. A producer came on the phone and acknowledged that I had just been "censored."

The producer then sent a text message saying: "Really sorry Allan. Suddenly I have a policy from my boss." I asked on the phone what that sudden policy was but the producer would not say. They said there were too many other METRO TV employees within earshot to speak freely about the matter.

As it happens, before being cut-off, I had only named the names of the low-level killers in one of the murders (Tumijan, see posting of March 21, 2010 for details). Who knows what would have happened if I had started out by naming Generals?

This censorship is especially revealing since part of the TNI's strategy in trying to defuse my report is to say generally that it has no specifics, no facts. But when I give them, they pull the plug.

Bahasa Indonesia Translation of this Posting:

News & Comment (
Rabu, 24 Maret 2010

Wawancara Tentang Pembunuhan di Sensor Oleh METRO TV, Indonesia

Sore ini, METRO TV, sebuah stasiun TV berita swasta di Indonesia,
mengundang saya untuk siaran langsung selama 30 menit pada jam 8
petang (WIB) untuk mendiskusikan laporan terakhir saya tentang
pembunuhan-pembunuhan politik yang dilakukan oleh TNI, angkatan
bersenjata yang didukung pemerintah AS.

Saya setuju. Ketika diskusi lewat telpon itu berlangsung, sedikit
setelah pukul 8 malam, saya meminta pemirsa untuk membaca langsung
laporan tersebut di website. Kemudian saya mulai menyebutkan nama-nama
personil TNI yang terlibat dalam pembunuhan tersebut.

Dalam beberapa menit saya diputuskan dari siaran langsung tersebut.
Produser acara tersebut kemudian menelpon dan mengakui bahwa saya baru
saja “disensor.”

Produser tersebut kemudian mengirim teks SMS yang berbunyi: “Maaf
sekali Allan. Tiba-tiba saja ada kebijakan dari boss saya.” Saya
bertanya lewat telpon apa sebenarnya yang menjadi kebijakan tersebut
tetapi produser tersebut tidak mau mengatakannya. Ia mengatakan bahwa
disana ada terlalu banyak karyawan METRO TV yang lain yang mungkin
menguping sehingga sulit bagi dia untuk bicara secara bebas tentang
soal sensor itu.

Sebelum dipotong, saya hanya sempat menyebutkan beberapa nama
orang-orang bawahan yang melakukan pembunuhan (Tumijan, lihat posting
tanggal 21 Maret, untuk lebih mendetail). Siapa yang bisa menduga apa
yang akan terjadi bila saya menyebut nama Jendral-jendral yang

Penyensoran ini menunjukkan bahwa bagian dari strategi TNI untuk
membantah laporan saya adalah dengan mengatakan laporan tersebut tidak
berdasarkan fakta, tidak spesifik. Namun ketika saya berikan
fakta-fakta tersebut, mereka malah menyensornya.

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