Monday, October 20, 2014

1) Australia needs to talk human rights issues with Indonesia

2) Two Journalists Origin France Begin Trial; Threatened 5 Years in Prison 
3) French journalists go on trial in Indonesia’s Papua
1) Australia needs to talk human rights issues with Indonesia  

Andreas Harsono

October 20, 2014 - 11:00PM

Prime Minister Tony Abbott had the opportunity to restart his "more Jakarta, less Geneva" foreign policy when he attended  the inauguration of Indonesia's new president, Joko "Jokowi" Widodo yesterday. Abbott now also has a rare and vital opening to engage on human rights issues.
Such engagement is crucial for Australia to maintain a strong and sustainable bilateral relationship with its northern neighbour. Indonesia's human rights situation has deteriorated over the decade of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's presidency, and Australia can and should play an important role in encouraging Widodo to act quickly to end increasing abuses.
The alarming rise in religious intolerance and related violence in Indonesia should be a priority in Australia's engagement with Widodo and his government. Yudhoyono was reluctant to act against Islamist militants who attack religious minorities, or to revise discriminatory regulations. Those targeted include Muslim sects such as the Shia and the Ahmadiyah as well as Christians and adherents to nativist beliefs. According to the Setara Institute, a non-profit think tank monitoring religious freedom, incidents of religious violence increased from 91 cases in 2007 to 220 cases in 2013. Widodo himself has made a good start by stating that he will protect the constitutional rights of the country's minorities.
Since 1963, successive Indonesian governments have blocked international media form visiting Papua -including Australian media - to allow only those foreign reporters who get special official permission. Two French reporters, detained in Papua since August 6 for "illegal reporting," are the most recent victims of Indonesia's Papua censorship obsession.

Widodo visited Papua on June 5 and told reporters that if elected president he would open access to Papua for foreign journalists and international organisations. On October 1, the Australian Senate passed a motion calling for Indonesia to release the two journalists as a sign of Jokowi's "commitment to a more open" Papua. Abbott should support Widodo's intention to lift restrictions on foreign journalists from freely reporting in Papua.
The Australian government should also support redress for Indonesia's many victims of abuses committed by government security forces over the years. Ten years ago, outspoken Indonesian human rights advocate Munir was murdered. Despite evidence implicating Indonesia's domestic intelligence agency, the masterminds of his killing have evaded justice. Munir is one of many victims of aculture of impunity rooted in Indonesia's three decades of authoritarian rule where successive Indonesian governments have failed to prosecute the worst offenders or provide redress.
Widodo has publicly committed to investigating the arrest, torture and enforced disappearance of dozens of pro-democracy activists by security forces in the dying months of the Suharto regime. The Australian government should impress upon Widodo that the rule of law requires a meaningful and transparent accounting of all serious abuses.
The Australian and Indonesian governments also have an opportunity to work together to address their mutual failings in respecting international standards of protection for refugees and asylum seekers. In 2013, the Australian government introduced pernicious policies designed to deter asylum seekers, including mandatory offshore processing of asylum seekers arriving by boat, "enhanced screening" or fast-tracked deportations after cursory interviews, and withdrawing government-provided legal assistance to asylum seekers. Australian defence officials charged with the asylum-seeker response now regularly refuse to answer questions from journalists, citing vague "national security" concerns at the expense of the public's right to information.
The Indonesian government likewise has a dismal record in respecting the rights of migrant and asylum-seekers, including children. Hundreds of migrant and asylum-seeking children are detained every year in sordid conditions, without access to lawyers, and sometimes beaten. Others are left to fend for themselves, without any assistance with food or shelter.
The Australian government should respect its obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention, which it ratified in 1954. The Indonesian parliament should ratify the convention as soon as possible to ensure that refugees and asylum seekers, including children, receive the convention's protections.
Addressing Indonesia's human rights problems demands that President Widodo allocate no small amount of political capital and sustained political will. Abbott can play an important role in the success of those efforts by signalling his support for Widodo's moves to make universal rights a key part of his administration.
Andreas Harsono is Indonesia researcher for Human Rights Watch.


A google translate of article in google translate can be a bit erratic.
Original bahasa link at
2) Two Journalists Origin France Begin Trial; Threatened 5 Years in Prison 
By: Oktovianus Pogau | Monday, October 20, 2014 - 19:59 pm | Viewed: 227 times 

Thomas Dandois dan Valentine Bourrat jalani sidang perdana (Foto: Oktovianus Pogau/SP)
Jayapura, --- Two French journalistsThomas Dandois (40) and Mary Valentine Bourrat (29), Monday (20/10/2014) afternoon, underwent initial hearing in the District Court of Class IIA, Jayapura, with readings agenda indictmentof the Prosecutor (Prosecutor), while listening to the exceptionof legal counsel. 

In the indictment NO.PERK.REG.PDM-131 / JPR.Euh.2 /10/2014, which was read a single prosecutor, Sukanda, SH,MH, Thomas and Valentine was charged Article 122 letter a of Law No. 6 of 2011 on keimigrasiaan, in conjunction with Article55 paragraph (1) to-1 of the Penal Code with imprisonment offive years.  As read by the prosecutor, chronology, defendant Valentine andThomas got the information from Nick Chesterfield, Australiancitizen, about the situation in Papua, and the defendantValentine frequent communication with Nick Chesterfield via email. 
Furthermore, defendant Valentine came to Indonesia  through the Soekarno Hatta airport, Jakarta, on July 3, 2014, using the passport Republique Francaise Number: 09FD72946,16-07-2009-15-07-2019 validity period. 
The defendant also received permission Valentine immigrationB.211 index excursions Register Number: A1231B-7619N,which issued the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia (KRBI)in Paris, on June 27, 2014, which is valid for 60 days. 
Meanwhile, defendant Thomas came to Indonesia throughSoekarno Hatta Airport, on July 28, 2014, using the passportRepublique Francaise Number: 14CP8231, validity period 07-07-2014 to 05-05-2020. 
Defendant Thomas got permission keimigrasiaan visit visaupon arrival "visa on arrival" V5A7432412 voucher code, which is valid for 30 days. 
Furthermore, both the accused are known to meet in Sorong,West Papua, on August 3, 2014, and then they went to Jayapura, on August 4, 2014, and stay at the Hotel Swisbell,Jayapura. 
After that, both are known to meet with Forkorus Yaboisembut,President of the Democratic leaders of West Papua, in Doyo,Sentani, Papua, and journalistic activities, and interviewedconcerned. 
Both also covered the armed groups with a view to determinethe social and cultural history, and to know the reason for armedrebel groups or against the government. 
The plan, the coverage of the results will be incorporated in the form of a documentary, and will be aired on the Frenchtelevision station disebuah. 
Then, on August 5, 2014 they went to Wamena, and the two meton 6 Areki Wanimbo witness at his home, which is within thesecond defendant Meeting planned on August 7, 2014,covering the Baliem Valley Festival, as well as the date ofAugust 8, 2014 will do reporting in Lanny Jaya district. 
"That the defendant was aware or know, for journalisticactivities in Indonesia, should not use immigration permit tourist visa, but must use the journalists after obtaining permissionfrom the Indonesian government clearinghouse that is coordinated by the Foreign Kementeriaan," said AttorneySukanda. 
Legal counsel both defendants, Aristo Pangiribuan, while givinga response or exception to the prosecutor's indictment said thatin the indictment there are many descriptions are not clear, andraises mulittafsir. 
"Out of charges that we see a lot that is not being met, so we ask judges can reject the charges the prosecutor, and notcontinue this trial," said Aristo. 
The trial, led by the Chief Judge, this is Martin Bala started at 11.00 Wit, and ends around 12:00 Wit. Rather quickly ended asthe prosecutor read the indictment only two pages. 
The trial will be held on Tuesday (21/10/2014) tomorrow, withthe agenda to hear deplik or denial of the prosecutor, and thenthe prosecutor may present witnesses. 
The panel of judges said the trial will be held in a marathon,and is expected on Friday (25/10/2014) future can already be decided. 
Monitoring, dozens of local and nationaljournalists packed the courtroom, appeared severalplainclothes security officials also monitor the proceedings,occasionally taking photographs in the courtroom. 
See photos:
Jokowi sworn, Two French journalist in Papua LiveSession Prime 
Oktovianus POGAU

3) French journalists go on trial in Indonesia’s Papua

AFP, Jayapura
Monday, 20 October 2014
Two French journalists went on trial in Indonesia’s Papua on Monday accused of breaching visa regulations by illegally reporting on its separatist movement, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.
Thomas Dandois, 40, and Valentine Bourrat, 29, were detained at the start of August while making a documentary for Franco-German television channel Arte.
They went on trial in Jayapura, the capital of Papua province, charged with breaking immigration laws since they had tourist, not journalist, visas. A prosecutor said they had admitted reporting while in Papua.
Indonesia is deeply sensitive about journalists covering Papua, where a low-level insurgency against the central government has simmered for decades, and rarely grants visas for foreigners to report independently in the region.
Foreign reporters detained for illegal reporting in Papua have in the past been swiftly deported. However Dandois and Bourrat have already been in custody for more than two months, and if found guilty may face lengthy jail terms.
Prosecutor Sukanda told the court the pair had entered Papua using tourist visas but had interviewed a separatist leader and reported on the activities of “an armed criminal group”, the term typically used by authorities when referring to separatists.
“The accused were aware or knew that they were not allowed to use a tourist visa to carry out journalistic activities in Indonesia, and that they needed a journalistic permit... from the Indonesian government,” said Sukanda, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.
“Both have admitted to having carried out reporting in Papua to find out more about its society, customs, culture and history and also to find out why armed civilians were fighting against the government,” he added.
Dandois was detained at a hotel in the city of Wamena with members of separatist group the Free Papua Movement (OPM), and Bourrat was detained shortly afterwards, according to authorities.
The OPM has been at the forefront of the fight against the central government in the resource-rich but poor and ethnically Melanesian region.
The French journalists declined to speak to reporters at the court.
Their lawyer Aristo Pangaribuan said the charge was only two pages long and “not serious”, adding he hoped the pair would be deported soon.
Bourrat’s mother Martine Bourrat was in court for the start of the trial, and told reporters: “I really hope my daughter can return home as soon as possible.”
Chief judge Martinus Bala told reporters he hoped the verdict would be delivered on Friday.

Last Update: Monday, 20 October 2014 KSA 19:24 - GMT 16:24

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