Step Vaessen

Step Vaessen, based in Jakarta, has been reporting on Asia for more than 15 years. Starting off as a correspondent for Dutch National Television in Southeast Asia she covered the independence struggle and violence in East Timor and Aceh, religious and ethnic conflicts in the Moluccans and Kalimantan and the bloody transition from authoritarian regime to democracy in Indonesia. She covered numerous disasters like the tsunami in 2004 and earthquakes in Indonesia and Pakistan. As an experienced video-journalist she travelled intensively in the region, covering Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia and China.

In 2006 she joined Al Jazeera as Indonesia’s correspondent. Her career in broadcast journalism has spanned almost two decades. In 2005, she won an Academy Award for her reports on the Asian tsunami. In 2011 she published her first book, "Jihad with sambal".

Asia Pacific

Indonesian film honours women's rights activist

Raden Adjeng Kartini, an activist who fought for women's rights in Indonesia more than 100 years ago, is being honoured in a new film. Kartini started to fight for women's education at a time when it was rare for Indonesian girls to go to school.

Asia Pacific

Indonesia's purple squad rescues abandoned elders

A growing number of elderly people suffering from Alzheimer's disease are being found abandoned in Indonesia.


Indonesia set to expand tobacco production despite health costs

Over the past 25 years, there's been no significant reduction in the number of smokers in Indonesia - nearly 75 percent of men still light up. In fact, the government is planning to produce more tobacco.

Asia Pacific

Indonesians take 'concrete stand' against cement plant

Plans to build a large factory in Java's Karst Mountains anger farmers worried about environmental impact.

Asia Pacific

Indonesia Crisis: Clean water scarcity in Jakarta

People living in the capital of Indonesia still rely on river water and wells for washing and drinking due to a lack of infrastructure. The ground water in Jakarta is contaminated by unclean septic tanks

Asia Pacific

Myanmar's ancient city crumbling away

Myanmar's ancient Buddhist kingdom of Mrauk U used to be an example of religious harmony. But since violence broke out five years ago between Buddhists and minority Rohingya Muslims, the city has banned Muslims from entering the town.

Asia Pacific

Rohingya plight: UNHRC to discuss human rights abuses in Myanmar

The human rights of the Rohingya people are being discussed at the United Nations. The Special Rapporteur for Myanmar has urged the UN to establish a Commission of Inquiry into abuses committed against the minority group.

Asia Pacific

H&M orders on hold in Myanmar after factory riot

Swedish fashion brand H&M is halting orders from a troubled textile factory in Myanmar. The Chinese-owned firm was forced to stop production after rioting workers damaged the building over an industrial dispute last month.

Asia Pacific

Memorial held for Myanmar’s influential lawyer U Ko Ni

U Ko Ni, a legal adviser for Myanmar's ruling party and a constitutional expert, was shot dead outside Yangon's international airport in January.


The Indonesian fire play

Blasphemy case against Jakarta's Christian governor brings fragile beacon of democracy and stability to a dangerous edge.


Indonesia: Plastic tax to curb rubbish dumped in rivers

Move aims to cut 187 million tonnes of carrier bags dumped into the country's waters, clogging up drainage channels.

Human Rights

Indonesia tobacco plantations using child labour

Big cigarette companies accused of feigning ignorance while young children work in plantations in hazardous conditions.