Wednesday, October 22, 2014

1) Call for action, as Indonesian president visits Papua

2) Prosecution witnesses testify in Papua journalists' trial
3) No witnesses against French  journalists
4) Infantry Battalion 511 deployed to secure Indonesia-PNG borders
5) Jokowi focus on Papua may lack support
6) Call for release of French journalists in West Papua

7) Indonesian Air Force Forces Down Australian Plane, Detains Pilots


1) Call for action, as Indonesian president visits Papua

Updated at 3:20 pm on 22 October 2014

West Papua activists are calling on the new president of Indonesia to begin addressing Papua's human rights grievances during his first official visit there tomorrow.
Joko Widodo, who was inaugurated on Monday, has indicated a discussion on the West Papua situation will be one of his priorities.
A spokesperson for West Papua Action Auckland group, Maire Leadbeater, says Mr Widodo made a number of promises during his election campaign about West Papua, including ensuring greater media freedom.
Ms Leadbeater says Mr Widodo has a reputation for being fair and honest, and she has high hopes he will fulfill his promises.
She says a dialogue between Indonesian authorities and representatives of West Papuan people is needed.
"That dialogue would have to include a bit more than just looking at the economic situation, it must also look at the political situation and the status of the territory. Those things have to be opened up for discussion."

2) Prosecution witnesses testify in Papua journalists' trial

Updated at 4:43 pm on 22 October 2014

Witnesses for the prosecution in the trial of two French journalists in Indonesia's Papua province say they never saw them conducting journalistic activities.
The Jakarta Post reports the Jayapura District Court heard from a chieftain of a Wamena tribe who said the pair visited his house in early August accompanied by two locals.
The paper reports he said he didn't know the purpose of the visit and they did not conduct an interview or take photos.
The witness says one of the locals asked him to explain the latest development in the security situation in Lanny Jaya and he admitted he had received short messages on shooting incidents in the area.
Two other witnesses who are Jayapura immigration officers said they knew the suspects were foreign journalists only from the press cards they both had.
Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois are on trial for abusing their entry visas.
They have been held since mid August and their trial began on Monday.
Two French journalists  were working, says expert  witness
Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Wed, October 22 2014, 10:10 PM
Activities conducted by two French journalists, Thomas Charles Dandois and Marie Valentine Bourrat, during their stay in Papua could be categorized as journalistic activities as defined by Law No. 40/1999 on the press, said an expert witness during the trial of the two defendants in Jayapura on Wednesday.
“Both of them had conducted journalistic activities that the 1999 Press Law defines as activities to find out, posses, keep, manage and spread information comprising verbal news, pictures and voice through print and electronic media, as well as other forms of media,” the Foreign Ministry’s director of information and media, Siti Sofia Sudarma, during the hearing at Jayapura District Court on Wednesday.
Siti, who spoke as an expert witness in the trial, said any foreign journalists who intended to report on the news in areas across Indonesia must submit a coverage permit request to the Indonesian representative in the countries where they came from. The representatives would send the request to the Foreign Ministry in Jakarta, which would process the request with a clearing house.     
“Eighteen ministries and related institution are involved in the process to issue a permit,” said Siti Sofia, in the trial led by Marthinus Bala.
She further said Dandois and Bourrat had never undertaken this procedure and had entered Indonesia to work as journalists using a tourist visa.
Siti said the Indonesian government allowed foreign journalists to cover the news in Papua and West Papua as long as they complied with existing rules and regulations.
According to the ministry’s official data, 28 foreign journalists had submitted permit requests to cover news in Papua and West Papua in 2013, of which 21 had been successful.
As of October this year, 20 foreign journalists had submitted a coverage permit request to the ministry, 18 of which were granted for coverage in Papua and West Papua.
“In the two provinces, they are allowed to cover the news in all fields, including politics,” said Siti.
She further said apart from evidence obtained by the Foreign Ministry, the two French journalists had admitted they had misused their tourist visas to report on news in Papua and West Papua.
Bourrat and Dandois were arrested in Wamena on Aug. 6 and have been detained since Aug. 14 for allegedly breaching immigration rules. They are on trial on charges of “abusive use of entry visas” with hearings on Monday and Tuesday. (ebf)
3) No witnesses against French  journalists
Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Wed, October 22 2014, 10:32 AM
The Jayapura District Court resumed on Tuesday a trial of two French journalists, Thomas Charles Dandois and Marie Valentine Bourrat, hearing from three witnesses from the prosecution who were not able to confirm that the defendants undertook journalistic activities.

One of the witnesses, Areki Wanimbo, chief of the Lanny tribe in Wamena, revealed that the two defendants came to his house on Aug. 6, 2014, together with Dominikus Sorabut and Theo Hesegem.

Areki said he did not know their intention in coming to the house. He said they did not conduct an interview or take pictures.

“I did not speak with them, except Dominikus,” Areki told the panel of judges, comprised of presiding judge Marthinus Bala and panel members Maria Sitanggang and Irianto.

Areki added that when Dominikus arrived, he asked about the situation of a village in Lanny Jaya, and Areki said that he had received a text message regarding shooting incidents in the area.

Areki said that Dominikus then asked whether the group could go to Lanny Jaya, but Areki said no. “I immediately said they could not go because the situation was unsafe. Don’t let there be any more victims.”

Witnesses Frengky Nalenan and Rausus Octavianus Makabori, both Jayapura Immigration officers, were also aware that the two foreign visitors were journalists from the press cards they carried.

However, neither of them saw the suspects carrying out journalistic activities and the immigration officers only learned from Papua Police investigators that the two had conducted an interview with West Papua Democrats president Forkorus Yaboisembut.

“I only knew from police investigators that the defendants conducted an interview with Yaboisembut but the recording has been erased, so I did not see or hear the recording,” said Frengky.

Witness Rausus said the defendants arrived in Jayapura and he was not aware of the case involving the foreigners.

In their indictment read out by prosecutors on Monday, the two Arte TV journalists were charged with violating Law No. 8/2011 on immigration, which carries a maximum five-year prison sentence.

Both were apprehended in Wamena on Aug. 6, 2014, and have been in detention since Aug. 14.

Their defense lawyer Aristo Pangaribuan said on Tuesday that the immigration office had charged them with visa violations because they only held tourist visas but allegedly carried out journalistic activities.

Aristo said none of the three witnesses could testify about the journalistic activities allegedly carried out by the pair, adding that his clients were only known as journalists from their press cards.

“Can’t journalists be tourists? Does every journalist who visits every country carry out journalistic activities? If they become tourists, can they take pictures and are there any tourist sites where taking photos is prohibited? This is subject to debate,” said Aristo.


4) Infantry Battalion 511 deployed to secure Indonesia-PNG borders

Rabu, 22 Oktober 2014 16:38 WIB | 448 Views
Surabaya (ANTARA News) - Several soldiers from the Dibyantara Yudha Infantry Battalion 511 in East Java have been deployed to safeguard the Republic of Indonesia (RI)-Papua New Guinea (PNG) borders.

Chief of the Brawijaya Regional Military Command V Maj. Gen. Eko Wiratmoko bid farewell to the soldiers on Monday (October 20), Col. Totok Sugiharto, the chief of the commands information service, stated here on Wednesday.

The Indonesian nation and state have entrusted the soldiers of the infantry battalion to safeguard the sovereignty of the Unitary Republic of Indonesia, particularly its borders with PNG, Maj. Gen. Eko noted while seeing off the soldiers.

"The chief of the regional military command also reminded the soldiers of the infantry battalion that they needed to have a persuasive approach and build togetherness with all the elements of the community in the area where they were deployed," Col. Totok said, quoting the regional military command chief.

Your success in drawing sympathy and support from the community is the key to thwarting the separatist movement in the border area, he stated.

"Stay alert in every step you take, and use your time to carry out positive activities, including empowering the local people to explore their potentials and nurturing military units in the operation area," Maj. Gen. Eko remarked.

On the occasion, Maj. Gen. Eko also conveyed a seven-point message to the soldiers, which included maintaining solidarity, creating a harmonious atmosphere through social communication or approaches to customary, religious, and public figures, shunning all words and acts that offend the local people, and refraining from acts that have the potential to violate the laws and human rights.

(Reported by Edy M Yakub/Uu.INE/S012/KR-BSR/F001)


5) Jokowi focus on Papua may lack support

Updated at 9:44 am on 22 October 2014

Efforts by Indonesia's new President to solve political, social and economic issues in Papua region may be restricted by a lack of support from national parliamentarians.
Joko Widodo, who was inaugurated on Monday, has indicated that addressing lingering grievances of West Papua will be one of his first priorities.
A South East Asia and Pacific specialist, Damien Kingsbury from Deakin University, says the President has made contact with West Papuan political leaders who believe there is scope for discussion about a way forward.
But he warns that even if Jokowi forges some agreement, he could struggle to get it through a hostile legislature.
"The Indonesian parliament is overwhelmingly set against Joko Widodo as President and has threatened to derail his Presidency; and if he tried to resolve the West Papua issue - something that's very, very controversial in Jakarta - my guess is he would run into a great deal of resistance within the parliament."
Damien Kingsbury.


6) Call for release of French journalists in West Papua

22 October 2014
Call for media freedom and release of French journalists in West Papua
West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in Jayapura West Papua. We ask that the Minister also call for a guarantee that local people the journalists met with will be protected. This is crucial moment to remind newly inaugurated Indonesian President Joko Widodo of the promises he made during his election campaign to allow greater media freedom in the troubled territory.
The Minister must seize the moment to advise Mr Widodo of Parliament’s July resolution which called on the new President to uphold the right of ‘local and international journalists’ to report on the political situation in West Papua without risking imprisonment or harassment. Widodo plans to visit West Papua later this week.
“Now we are on the UN Security Council we must have our voice heard about this pivotal case –concerning the human rights not only of two dedicated journalists but also the rights of the people of West Papua,” said Paul Tolich and Maire Leadbeater speaking for their networks.
Yesterday, Thomas Dandois and Valentine Dandois appeared in court after nearly three months in detention. They were arrested while recording footage for a documentary and attempting to shine a light on the largely hidden freedom struggle in West Papua. They have been charged with visa violations but in the past the authorities have simply expelled journalists caught doing this.
Apart from a tiny number of closely monitored visits, international journalists have been barred from entry to West Papua. These restrictions violate the spirit if not the letter of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the universal right to inform as guaranteed in Article 19 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

7) Indonesian Air Force Forces Down Australian Plane, Detains Pilots

By Jakarta Globe on 04:24 pm Oct 22, 2014
Category FeaturedNews

Personnel from the Indonesian military escort an Australian man from a light aircraft in Manado, North Sulawesi, on Oct. 22. (Antara Photo)
Jakarta. Indonesian Air Force officials in North Sulawesi forced a civilian aircraft flown by two Australian men to land after the plane entered Indonesian airspace without permission on Wednesday. Pilots Graeme Jacklin and Richard MacLean — both Australian citizens — have been detained by the Indonesian military.
Indonesian Air Force spokesman First Air Marshall Hadi Tjahyanto said the Beechcraft airplane was heading to Cebu in the Philippines from Darwin, Australia.
“The aircraft was detected by the national air commando radar and it violated our airspace,” Hadi told Indonesian news portal
Hadi said the plane was detected by officers at 8 a.m. on Wednesday while flying over Manado.
Two Sukhoi jet fighters were then scrambled to intercept the aircraft.
The Beechcraft was then forced to land at Sam Ratulangi Military Air Base in Manado at 10:30 a.m. Jakarta time.
“After we searched them we found out they didn’t have the necessary documentation,” Heru said, adding that an investigation would continue.
In April another civilian aircraft was forced to land for entering Indonesian airspace.  Officers arrested the pilot, 65-year-old Heinz Peier, who was on his way to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. 
Peier, a Swiss national, was released after obtaining the necessary overflight and landing permits from the foreign ministry, the transportation ministry and the Indonesian military.

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