Balibo

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1. Plan of Investigation

How has journalism become an occupational hazard in reporting in areas of conflict?

The murder and concealment of five Australian-based journalists by the Indonesian Armed Forces operating along the border of East Timor, in October 1975, have always caused controversy between the Australian government and Indonesia after their warning over an inquiry into the deaths of the five journalists over 30 years ago. The aim of the investigation is to assess why the Indonesian Armed Force opened fire on the Australian journalists. The investigation will research articles published about the murders, the confessions by former military soldiers that had taken place in the cover-up and a various documentaries explaining the actions of Australia and Indonesia in response to the assassination. A brief history as to why the shooting took place, what the journalists were investigating and what were they doing there will be provided. An analysis will describe the events that had taken place before the time of the journalist’s death to reach a conclusion as to why being a journalist is an occupational hazard in areas of conflict.

2. Summary of Evidence

Balibo Five executed, soldier admit

Former Kopassus officer and intelligence commander, Galot Purwanto had told Tempo magazine that the soldiers had to remove all evidence of the shooting as they would have been able to testify that the Indonesian army was going to invade East Timor within a month. Galot Purwanto quoted, “If we let them live, they would tell everyone it was an Indonesian invasion” and “If they died and we abandoned them there would be evidence that they were shot in territory controlled by Indonesian guerrillas. So the simple way was to eliminate everything. We just claimed not to know anything [1].” After appearing in a later interview Purwanto contradicted his statement in the early interview by suggesting that the journalists’ death were accidental [2].

Second hand...
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