Saturday, December 29, 2012

1) Attacks Against the Press Still a Problem in Indonesia: AJI Report

1) Attacks Against the Press Still a Problem in Indonesia: AJI Report
2) Violence and intimidation of journalists in Papua in 2012

1) Attacks Against the Press Still a Problem in Indonesia: AJI Report
Antonia Timmerman | December 29, 2012
Instances of violence against journalists dropped in 2012 despite several high-profile abuse allegations levied against the Indonesian Military (TNI) and government officials this year, according to an Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) report. 

The press freedom organization recorded some 56 cases where journalists were attacked, verbally threatened or had their equipment destroyed in 2012. Last year, the Legal Aid Foundation for the Press (LBH Pers) reported 96 acts of violence against journalists. 

The report documented 18 instances of physical abuse, 15 reports of verbal threats and ten cases of reporters having their equipment smashed. AJI also included instances where journalists were prevented from covering certain stories or protests, censorship of the media and the banning of websites. 

There were an additional 12 instances of violence directed at journalists working in Papua, including an attack on Oktovianus Pogau, a freelance reporter who contributes to the Jakarta Globe.

Despite the drop in numbers, AJI chairman Eko Maryadi warned that any blows to press freedom were worrying. 

In recent months, several high-profile attacks on the press grabbed headlines in Indonesia. In mid-October, a member of the Indonesian Air Force, Lt. Col. Robert Simanjuntak, was caught on video kicking and choking journalists trying to shoot photos of a downed military plane in Pekanbaru, Riau. 

One month later, journalists in Palembang claimed that members of the Indonesian Air Force smashed their equipment and choked another reporter at a demonstration in Sukarmi, Palembang. The reporters were allegedly documenting scenes of soldiers attacking protestors. 

In East Nusa Tenggara, a local government official threatened to kill a journalist over a story detailing his expense claims. The 25-member Lembata District Legislative Council had spent some Rp 2.8 billion ($290,000) on travel expenses in 2012, the Pos Kupang newspaper had reported. 

The story reportedly angered deputy chairman Yoseph Meran Lagaur enough to shout “You dare to challenge me in Lembata? I could get crazier and I will kill you,” three times during a confrontation with a reporter at a local World AIDS Day event. 

All of the incidents were common stories in Indonesia, where the TNI and the government routinely rank as the top abusers of the press, Eko said on Friday.

Abused journalists also have little hope of seeing their attackers brought to justice, Eko said. 

“So far there have been only seven cases handled by the police,” he said. “The rest were not investigated and the perpetrators were not caught.”

Eko called on the Manado Police to finish their investigation into the stabbing death of AJI member Aryono Linggotu. Aryono, a Metro Manado journalist, was stabbed to death during an argument about his motorcycle’s loud exhaust in November. 

His alleged murderer was arrested by police in late November, but progress on the case is slow, Eko said. 

“He was brutally murdered and had been stabbed 14 times, and, until today, his case, which is being handled by Manado Police, has progressed real slow,” Eko said.

The AJI is taking steps to push for a faster investigation into Aryono’s death.

The report also found that gender-based discrimination was still a significant issue in Indonesian newsrooms, including instances of sexual assaults and rules prohibiting women from covering criminal cases or fires.
2) Violence and intimidation of journalists in Papua in 2012

JUBI, 27 December 2012

The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) has recorded twelve cases of violence and intimidation against journalists Papua  during 2012,which is a significant increase as compared with 2011, when there were seven cases.

The first case was violence and intimidation against journalists in Papua and West Papua wanting to cover the trial of Forkorus Yaboisembut and his colleagues at the district court in Jayapura on 8 February when they were  physically intimidated, pulled and pushed as they were entering the courtroom. Those responsible were members of the police force in Jayapura. The victims were: Katerina Litha of Radio KBR 68 H Jakarta. Robert Vanwi of  Suara Pemnaharuan, Jakarta, Josrul Sattuan of TV One, Irfan of Bintang Papua, and Cunding Levi of Tempo.

The second case was against Radang Sorong, a journalist with Cahaja Papua  and Paskalis  of Media Papua, from February until May in West Papua by the police chief of Manokwari, who were preventing journalists from reporting expressions of support for dialogue and a referendum in Papua. Three local journalists said that they had been  under pressure while writing critical reports about political matters, law and human rights violations and political prisoners. One of the journalists from Manokwari was instructed to restrict his reporting about political, legal matters and human rights violations.

The third case was in Abepura on 20 March when Josrul from TV One, Marcel from Media Indonesia, Irfan from Bintang Papua and Andi Irfan of Radio KBR 68 H Jakarta were attacked by members of KNPB, the National Committee of West Papua who were involved in an action outside the Post Office in Abepura. On a separate occasion, outside Polimak, Jayapura, Timbar Gultom of  Papua Pos was ordered to identify himself. When he replied that he  was from Papua Pos,  the people did not believe him and started chasing him. He was able to hide in a house nearby.

The fifth case  was when three journalists in the district of Jayapura, Yance of Radio Kenambai Ombar, Putu of KBR 68 H Jakarta and Suparti of Cenderawasih Pos were verbally intimidated and chased  by some members of the KNPB.on 20 March.

The sixth case was when a journalist from TV One, Josrul Sattuan was beaten by an unidentified person when he was trying to report on the situation in Jayapura following a series of  violent incidents and shooting incidents that occurred in various in places in Jayapura. The physical attack occurred at Abepura Circle on Thursday evening on 7th June.

The seventh case was when a journalist from Metro TV, Abdul Muin who was in Manokwari was attacked by someone from the Fishing Service in who intimidated him with an air gun.The victim told JUBI that the incident started when a member of the Fishing Service sent him a brief message on 8th June asking him and other journalists to cover an incident  of bombing a hoard of fish by a group of  people who were being held in the Manokwari Prison.

The eighth case occurred in Timika on 20 September.The victim was Mohammad Yamin, a contributor to  RCTI, Simson Sambuari of Metro TV, Husyen Opa of Salam Papua and the photographer for Antara News Agency, and David Lalang of Salam Papua.They were prevented from recording some events in the Pamako Harbour.

The ninth case involved Oktavianus  Pogau of and stringer for Jakarta Globe.  This occurred in Manokwari on 22 October. Okto were beaten up by several members of the police force, some in uniforms and others  not wearing their uniforms, who were battling with members of the KNPB in Manokwari.  The victims was thought to be part of a crowd of people involved in a demonstration, even though they had clearly identified themselves.

The tenth case was  when Sayied Syech Boften of Papua Barat Pos was attacked on 1 November by a person who identified himself as a member of the local legislative assembly, Hendrik G. Wairara. The victim was threatened and intimidated among others things by phone. The victim was warned to stop reporting about corruption in a project  involving the extension of the electrification system  and the maintenance of BBM machinery in Raja Ampat District. On the same day, the assistant of the chairman of the the local DPRD flew into a rage while he was at the editorial office of Papua Barat Pos.

The eleventh case occurred on 8 November when Esau Miram of Cenderawasih Pos  was intimidated as he was reporting on a gathering at the office of the Commander of the   XVII Nilitary Command and all the heads of departments in Papua.They were accused of being terrorists even though Esau had shown his  identity card as a journalist.

The twelfth case occurred on 1 December  when Benny Mawel of JUBI was interrogated by members of the police force  near Abepura Circle  for reporting about a large crowd of people who were carrying banners while marching from Abepura to Waena. Benny showed his journalist identity card, but a group of around ten people accused him of not being a journalist. As he was travelling on his motorbike  towards a repair centre, he was followed by some people there who starting asking whether he knew where Benny was.

Victor Mambor added the following: AJI reported two cases, the shooting of a Twin Otter  plane belonging to Trigana Air by an unidantified person in Mulia Airfield, Puncak Jaya on 8th April which killed Leiron Kogoya  who was first said to be a journalist of Papua Pos, Nabire and then the arrest and deportation of a Czech man, Petra Zamencnik who identified himself as a journalist with On 9 February, there was inconsistently about the status of the victim, whether he was a journalist or not, or whether he was involved in journalistic activities.

Suroso also confirmed that when the identity of Leiron  was checked, it turns out that  he was not at the time engaged in journalistic activities.but had gone to Mulia for personal reasons. Leiron had not registered himself as a journalist of  Papua Pos Nabire.  As regards Petr Zamencnik. he was unable to prove that he was a journalist. AJI Jayapura  sought confirmation with about his status  and he was described as being the editor for financial affairs in the Czech Republic.

[Translated by TAPOL]

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