Indonesian journalist shot in face to file police complaint, civil suit

Veby Mega Indah, the associate editor for <em>Suara Hong Kong News</em> receives first aid after getting shot in the eye during a September protest. Screengrab via Youtube.
Veby Mega Indah, the associate editor for Suara Hong Kong News receives first aid after getting shot in the eye during a September protest. Screengrab via Youtube.

An Indonesian journalist who was hit in the eye by a projectile fired by riot police during a protest on Sunday will be filing a complaint against the police, her attorney has confirmed.

Veby Mega Indah, who’s being represented by Michael Vidler, will also be initiating civil proceedings to seek redress.

In a statement published on his law firm’s Facebook page last night, Vidler confirmed that the projectile — either a bean bag round or a rubber bullet — was fired approximately 12 meters from Indah and from a low angle. Doctors have said that the full extent of the damage is still not known.

“Ms Veby is lucky to be alive and but for her protective goggles, she would definitely have been blinded. At present, very substantial visual impairment still remains a possibility,” Vidler said.

He said that responsibility for the incident lies squarely with Police Commissioner Stephen Lo, “who has failed to control the increasingly reckless behaviour of some of his officers, and with the officer who fired at Ms Veby.”

At a police press briefing on Monday, Chief Superintendent John Tse from the force’s Public Relations Bureau defended the operation saying there were many journalists and protesters on the footbridge at the time, and many of the protesters “were pushing us down to Gloucester Road, throwing objects towards us and holding petrol bombs in their hands.”

“We have sent our sympathies to the journalist and got in touch with her through a representative of the Indonesian consulate,” he added. “She said she needed to rest and refused to give a statement to police, but she will lodge a complaint via her lawyer later.”

Indah, an associate editor with Suara Hong Kong News, was livestreaming Sunday’s anti-government protest in Wan Chai. She was on a footbridge connecting Wan Chai MTR station with Revenue Tower at the time she was hit.

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