Journalists barred from covering handover of AirAsia bodies

Journalists standing by at the East Java Police's Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) command post are no longer allowed to cover the handing-over process of bodies from AirAsia flight QZ8501 after receiving protests from bereaved families.

"The families objected to the handing-over being covered by the media. The protest was conveyed yesterday [Friday]," East Java Police chief spokesman Sr. Comr. Awi Setiyono said on Saturday as reported by from Surabaya.

"Therefore, we are no longer allowing journalists to cover the process, as of today [Saturday]. Please understand the situation of victims' families and respect the decision."

The process had previously been open to the media. The transferrals were conducted after the DVI team publicized the identities of those bodies that had been identified.

The East Java Police handed over the bodies to the AirAsia management, which in turn presented the bodies to the families.

As of Saturday morning, of the18 bodies which had arrived at the DVI command post at the Bhayangkara Police Hospital, only four had been identified: Hayati Lutfiah Hamid, Grayson Herbert Linaksita, Kevin Alexander Soetjipto and Khairunnisa Haidar Fauzi.