Sunday, December 22, 2013

1) In 2013, Papua Sees 20 Cases of Violence to Journalists

1) In 2013, Papua Sees 20 Cases of Violence to Journalists
2) Mass killings and torture have been reported from the Indonesian territory of West Papua
3) Violence against journalists  on the increase: AJI Papua 

SUNDAY, 22 DECEMBER, 2013 | 18:22 WIB
1) In 2013, Papua Sees 20 Cases of Violence to Journalists
TEMPO.COJakarta - 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.

2) Mass killings and torture have been reported from the Indonesian territory of West Papua
  • DECEMBER 22, 2013 9:05PM

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 BEVEGE Source: 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.
More than 10,000 refugees now live in PNG where they say they cannot officially work as they are not citizens.
Back in West Papua it is illegal to raise the morning star flag which is considered by Indonesia to be an act of treason.
Tales of arbitrary beatings, arrests and murders are rife among those who have fled.
Since 1969 more than a million Indonesian migrants were moved to West Papua under a government transmigration program.
They now nearly outnumber the native melanesians who make up just 52 per cent of the population in their own land.
The Papuans call them the ``comers''.
It stands for ``newcomers''  and the two groups do not mix.
It was the racism of the comers that sparked Benny Wenda's decision to devote his life to the independence cause.
He was spat on at high school for being melanesian.
``I said: `I clean my body. I'm black. I'm trying my best.'
``Then I think: why are my people treated in this way. We are human beings just the same. I cannot change my colour.
``That is the start of where I am coming from.''
At school the children learn nothing of how West Papua came to be a part of Indonesia.
The lessons are in Bahasa and the names of all the roads, the mountains, the trees and the rivers have been changed to Indonesian names.
``But we already had names,'' Mr Wenda said.
So he began organising his people in protest, asking for a referendum and for the UN to return.
He was arrested in 2002 for allegedly inciting an attack on a police station.
He faced 25 years in jail _ but says his only crime was raising the banned morning star flag.
Australian human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson was in West Papua at the time as a young graduate volunteering for an NGO.
She worked on Mr Wenda's trial.
``I found it so compelling because it was so unbelievably unjust,'' she said.
Ms Robinson said the charges were politically motivated and Mr Wenda was accused of a crime he did not commit.
No evidence was produced _ but it was obvious the court would convict him anyway, she said.
West Papuan independence leaders have a short life expectancy and Benny's name had been on a police list that circulated before another independence leader, Theys Eluay, was assassinated.
It was clear Mr Wenda would not survive 25 years in prison if sentenced.
He was attacked as the trial continued.
One time he was sitting down watching other inmates play football when a large prisoner came over with a bush knife the size of a man's forearm.
He jumped on Benny's slight frame with the intent of hacking him to death, but a fellow prisoner leapt to his rescue and was severely cut in the process.
``They tried to kill me three times,'' he said.
``I think: if I stay I will be killed like a pig.''
He looked for a chance and one night managed to break the ventilation in his cell to escape, making it over the border before gaining the safety of asylum in the UK.
Indonesia pursued Mr Wenda and in 2011 issued an Interpol red notice seeking his arrest and extradition, flagging him a ``terrorist''.
But Interpol found the allegations were a politically motivated abuse of the system and took the red notice off.
Ms Robinson said it was crazy how easy it was for Indonesia to have him flagged as a terrorist using the same false allegations he had been granted political asylum to escape.
``It's not just that he couldn't travel internationally ... it meant he was suddenly on financial watchlists and asset control lists,'' she said.
Mr Wenda's wife Maria, 33, said Indonesian agents had pursued them all the way to their new home at Oxford in the UK.
An Indonesian man approached her in the street one day and asked if she knew Benny Wenda.
The mother-of-six was terrified.
``No, I've never met him,'' she told him.
``He said: `I've been watching you over 2 months'. He was a scary man.''
The couple reported the incident to the police.
But times are changing for the independence leader and now he is not afraid.
With his new-found freedom he is able to tell the world what is happening in West Papua.
Earlier this month PNG's Governor of Port Moresby, Powes Parkop, invited both Mr Wenda and Ms Robinson to attend an official raising of the morning star flag over city hall on December 1.
It was the first time in history that the banned pennant has been flown over a PNG government building in the capital and it coincided with the official opening of a new West Papua Campaign Office.
But the day before the flag raising Prime Minister Peter O'Neill asked for the flag not to be flown.
Mr Parkop defied him, saying PNG was a nation with rights and freedom of speech.
Immigration officers raided the hotel where the West Papuan activists were staying and demanded to see a list of names.
They threatened both Mr Wenda and Ms Robinson with arrest, prosecution and deportation if they engaged in ``political activities'' and they were not able to speak at the flag raising.
Police blocked activists from marching so they travelled in utes and mini-buses to city hall for the raising of the flag.
Mr O'Neill denied any pressure had been brought to bear from either Indonesia or Australia.
But Mr Parkop openly blamed Indonesia, speaking out against Jakarta's interference at the flag raising despite intense pressure from his own Government not to do so.
``We won't be silent anymore,'' he said.
``We must send a clear message to the Indonesian regime. The time to put our people in jail just simply for raising the flag is over.''
Three activists were then arrested for no apparent reason and Mr Parkop escorted them personally to the police vans.
The flag that was supposed to be flown for a week was taken down in a day.
Neither the Indonesian nor Australian governments responded to questions on the issue.
Ms Robinson said that kind of harassment was common in Indonesia but unprecedented in PNG.
Mr Wenda said PNG was afraid that they might be invaded.
The crackdown message was heard by the refugees.
Despite promises they can now apply for PNG citizenship without fees the refugees are afraid the PNG government is co-operating more with Indonesia.
They say Indonesians have been crossing into PNG, taking photographs of activists and mapping out where they live.
``There are many Indonesians here, many,'' said Fanny Kogoya, 20, a refugee and activist from Wamena.
Some are scared of the new extradition treaty signed by PNG and Indonesia in June, less than a month before former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced the Manus Island detention centre.
The ifNT Newsnf has seen the extradition treaty and while it contains a nominal provision protecting political activists, that protection is overridden by any alleged terrorism related offenses.
Those aware of Benny Wenda's Interpol episode fear the treaty could be used to silence or deport any West Papuan activists or leaders sheltering in PNG.
If PNG clamps down on West Papuan refugees their closest and only hope for safety is Australia - but Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said they are not welcome.
``Australia will not give people a platform to grandstand against Indonesia,'' he said in October during his visit to Jakarta.
In September, Australia's Immigration Department dumped seven West Papuan asylum seekers in Port Moresby.
They had fled from Indonesia to the Torres Strait island of Boigu in a tinnie after being persecuted for taking part in the Freedom Flotilla ceremonial protest at sea.
Immigration did not process the Boigu Seven like the thousands of Middle Eastern asylum seekers who simply transit Indonesia.
Australia flew them to Papua New Guinea within 48 hours of their arrival and dumped them - not in Manus Island for processing, but in Port Moresby for resettlement.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison did not respond to questions about why the Boigu Seven were treated differently to other asylum seekers.
After just three days the PNG authorities brought Indonesians to take their photograph in the nearby town of Kiunga.
The men said they were from PNG LNG but locals said they recognised them from the Indonesian consul's office in the northern border town of Vanimo.
They were sent to the East Awin Iowara refugee camp on the border of Indonesian Papua where fear runs like a dark tide in the jungle.
Rumours spread quickly about activists abducted, killed and burnt so nothing is left but the stones who tell no tales.
The border is porous and the might of Indonesia's $8 billion military sits just over the western edge.
Amnesty International has confirmed they are still unable to enter West Papua despite headlines in October claiming the reverse.
``Amnesty International: banned, Red Cross: banned, BBC, ABC: banned,'' said Mr Wenda.
``Why? It's a war zone.''
In response to pressure the Indonesian Government gave the region ``special autonomy'' in 2001 and has since split it into two jurisdictions: Papua and West Papua, creating new layers of bureaucracy.
But Benny Wenda says his people reject autonomy.
He has opened a campaign office in the UK and will be opening one in Perth in January so he can resist peacefully and ask for the referendum long ago promised but never delivered.
This year Reading University nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize along with fellow West Papuan Filep Karma who is still in jail on a 15-year treason sentence for raising a morning star flag.
For Mr Wenda it was an unbelievable moment of recognition after years of struggle.
``It meant a lot,'' he said.
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)

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