August 16, 1996, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
CPJ sent a letter to President Suharto on August 20 expressing alarm about the murder. The committee called on the Indonesian leader to order a complete investigation into Syafruddin's death, as well as public disclosure of the investigation's findings.
In October, Indonesia's National Committee on Human Rights began an inquiry into Syafruddin's death, and police in Jogyakarta arrested a suspect. However, according to press reportts, Syafruddin's widow claimed that the suspect, Dwi Sumadji, was not one of the men she saw kill her husband. She says he is a foil to deflect blame from the guilty parties.
In December, the Indonesian Journalist Association (PWI) told reporters that Syafruddin was beaten to death because of his stories about corruption, and not by a jealous husband as policed alleged shortly after the attack. PWI chairman Sofyan Lubis said that evidence and testimony at the trial of the alleged killer confirmed the association's findings. The court concluded that there was insufficient evidence against Sumadji, and prosecutors dropped the charges against him. The ruling led to an investigation into the conduct of two police officers accused of forcing Sumadji to admit he killed Syafruddin because the reporter was having an affair with his wife.
Job: Print Reporter
Beats Covered: Corruption, Politics
Local or Foreign: Local
Type of Death: Murder
Suspected Source of Fire: Government Officials
Taken Captive: No