TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - In 2013, the Jayapura branch of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) has recorded 20 cases of intimidation and violence to the journalists in both Papua and West Papua provinces. The figure has showed a significant increase of such cases compared to that in 2012, which were 12 cases.
Of those 20 cases, 4 cases have happened in West Papua province and 16 took place in Papua province. "Most of those violent actions were directly done through verbal intimidation such as threats and mocks or physical violence such as vandalism, or breaking into the editorial office without permits and end up in beating incidents," said Chairman of Jayapura AJI, Victor Mambor, during a press conference in Jayapura, Papua, yesterday.
According to the data of Jayapura AJI, the perpetrators of violence to the journalists in 2013 were still the same as the ones during the period of 2010-2012. "People from the police, other than those from the general public, have often become those who often commit violence to journalists," he said.
However, Victor admitted that relations between the police and journalists in Papua have been relatively better despite the fact the police have reportedly committed eight cases of violence and intimidation to journalists, out of 20 cases recorded by AJI Jayapura in 2013.
The number of cases of violence committed by the police to the journalists has doubled as opposed to that in last year, which saw only four cases.
HE WAS just a little kid, maybe six years old. Walking through the garden with his mother and two teenage aunties.
Then the Indonesian soldiers came.
``My mum was in front, leading me in the middle and my aunties behind,'' said Benny Wenda, now 39.
``My mum knows they will rape and she tries to defend.''
A soldier smashed her in the head with the butt of his gun.
``The Indonesian military beat my mum down in front of my eye,'' he said.
``She fell down bleeding. They took the two girls, my aunties, and made them take all their clothes off.
``They to go the river and clean their body and come back. Five or six military men raped them. They were 14 years old and 18 years old.
``I cried. This sentiment I will never forget.''
Exiled West Papuan leader Benny Wenda shows the scars on his ankle from being shackled in prison. Picture: ALISON BEVEGESource: NTNews
Benny Wenda is small, slight and softly spoken.
In an ordinary business shirt and trousers he looks more like a mild-mannered maths teacher than a revolutionary.
This year he was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and he has been compared to Nelson Mandela.
But his work to expose the secret war in West Papua and his campaign for a referendum to give the people a chance to vote for independence has made him one of the Indonesian military's most hated targets.
Benny Wenda had the misfortune to be born on the wrong side of history.
An arbitrary line splits the island of New Guinea and after 1961 the western half was the wrong place to be.
It had been a Dutch colony and Indonesia made it clear they wanted the territory as the Netherlands prepared to leave.
But the native population wanted independence.
They shared no cultural ties with Indonesia.
They were tribal, Christian melanesians and they did not want to be swallowed by a nation ruled from Jakarta by mostly Javanese muslims.
So the Dutch prepared them for self-rule and on December 1, 1961, the West Papuans raised their new morning star flag and sang a national anthem.
Within three weeks Indonesia called for the ``liberation'' of the new West Papua and sent in armed infiltrators.
In 1963 the UN agreed to let Indonesia administer the province as long as they held a plebiscite to let the people choose whether they wanted independence.
Instead Indonesia chose 1024 West Papuans to vote in a show of hands on whether to integrate.
It was called the ``Act of Free Choice'' and like other tinpot votes, the result was unanimous.
Matthew Hassor, 24, with Vincent Ephraim, 23, at the flag raising ceremony in Port Moresby, PNG, December 1, 2013. Both from Jayapura, West Papua. Picture: ALISON BEVEGESource: NT
Indonesia's 1969 annexation of the territory was formally recognised - but immediately rejected by the native population.
West Papuan leaders Willem Zonggonao and Clemens Runawery tried to travel to New York to complain about the way the vote was being conducted and stopped over the border in Vanimo, in Australian administered Papua New Guinea.
Journalist John Martinkus described in ifParadise Betrayed nfhow Australian authorities detained them at Manus Island from where their complaints were never heard.
The fuzzy wuzzy angels who saved Australia's World War II diggers had been forgotten in favour of a strong Jakarta.
West Papuans fled to the jungles and attacked the Indonesians with bows and arrows, sticks and rocks, and any guns they could capture.
The Indonesians retaliated with bombing raids, military occupation and aerial strafing.
Thousands of refugees fled across the border into Papua New Guinea (PNG) and they have been coming in waves ever since.
3) Violence against journalists on the increase: AJI Papua
The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Sun, December 22 2013, 8:39 PM
The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Papua says violence against journalists doubled in 2013 from the previous year.
AJI Papua chairman Victor Mambor said in Jayapura on Sunday that the trend of this year’s violence against journalists’ was similar to that which had happened in the period of 2010-2012.
“Police officers appear to have been responsible for a large part of the violence against journalists,” said Victor as quoted by Antara news agency.
He said despite improving relations between the police and journalists in Papua, the police had continued to be accused of frequent violence against journalists.
Citing data, Victor said officers from the Papua Police were allegedly responsible for eight of a total of 20 cases of violence and intimidation against journalists recorded by the AJI Jayapura in 2013.
“This figure shows a significant increase from 2012 in which there were only 12 cases of violence against journalists,” said Victor.
The report further revealed that 16 of the total 20 cases occurred in Papua while the remaining four cases took place in West Papua.
The most commonly experienced types of violence were verbal intimidation and physical abuse, such as threatening and abusing journalists with vulgar language, forcefully entering and damaging media offices and physically attacks on journalists.
“Meanwhile, the cases of violence against journalists perpetrated by civil society groups in 2013 were mostly carried out by a group of people in order to protect an official or public servant in a legal case,” said Victor.
He said there were six cases of intimidation and violence against journalists included in this category throughout 2013.
This showed that public officials in Papua had not yet educated their supporters to understand journalists’ roles and responsibilities as stipulated in Law No.40/1999 on the Press.
“In the same context, press institutions should play a more active role in promoting the 1999 Law on the press to both the public and officials,” Victor said. (ebf)