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The Power of Digital Media Vs The Power of the Powerful

People say everybody now is the media
people have more power over companies and organisations compare to 10 - 20 years ago.
But, apparently it is yet not true in Indonesia.
The powerful still wins.


Before I head to bed, I checked my Google reader, and found out that Ndoro, famous Indonesian blogger has just updated his blog. Thus, I thought, why not read his light, interesting post.

It was not light at all. The article he wrote has made me shocked to death: a house-wife complained and was sent to jail.

The story started when this woman, named Prita Mulyasari got very ill and went to Omni International Hospital in Tangerang, Indonesia. Yet, she was mistreated. She didn't get the treatment she supposed to get and she was treated badly by both the staff and the doctors. It happened last year, in 2008. Because she had felt very disappointed about the service of this hospital, she shared her experience through e-mail and also sent her complaint to one of digital media in Indonesia, detik.com. In result, her complaint appeared on some blogs and forums in Indonesia. Then, Omni hospital discovered.

Prita was accused to allegedly circulate online defamatory statements against Omni. This case was brought to the court because Prita was accused to break the Act of Information Technology section 27 number 11 year 2008 about spreading false information using digital media. She lost. Since 13 May 2009, she had to leave her two little children, Khairan Ananta Nugroho and Ranarya Puandida Nugroho, and her husband, and stay in jail until the court finalise the case and decide her sentence.

It is such a tragedy, also a shame to the street journalists, media, and other digital citizens ini Indonesia, because Prita Mulyasari is not a terrorist; neither is she a corruptor or a criminal. She was just not satisfied with the service she received from the hospital; hence she sent e-mails to warn some of her friends and other people, which then ended up in some forums and blogs. I would have done the same if I were here, just because it is about your health. If it were food or quality of clothese that we are talking about, it would be so much different. Health is everything. If a doctor mistreats a patient, it is a matter of life and death.

As an Indonesian, I am really ashamed. It should not happen. It must not happen again. And we have to speak up to save Prita from being sentenced to suffer in ugly, Indonesian jail.

Please retweet, forward, or share this information to your friends, followers, or whoever. You can join this Facebook cause, too.

Here are some articles from Indonesian media:

Koran Tempo

Kompas
The Jakarta Post

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