Wednesday, October 15, 2014

1) Papua arrests violate freedom of expression


3) Press Freedom in Papua Silenced 

1) Papua arrests violate freedom of expression

Watchdog decries worsening situation in restive Indonesian region
  • Katharina R. Lestari and Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
  • Indonesia
  • October 15, 2014

The arrests on Monday of 49 Papuan protesters represent a deterioration of freedom of expression, Jakarta-based human rights watchdog Indonesian Human Rights Monitor (Imparsial) said today.
“Freedom of expression in Papua is the worst in Indonesia. There’s a distinction between Papua and other regions in this country. It can be seen particularly when the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) stages rallies,” executive director Poengky Indarti told on Wednesday. 
Dozens of KNPB members were arrested Monday while staging peaceful rallies in front of immigration offices in Jayapura and Merauke. They were released after nine hours of detention.
The demonstrations were held to urge local authorities to release two French journalists arrested in August, along with three members of the Free Papua Movement.
Journalists Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat, who were detained while filming a documentary for Franco-German television channel Arte, stand accused of breaking Indonesia's immigration laws because they were working on tourist visas instead of media visas.
Indarti called both the journalists' arrests and charges spurious.
“If the journalists only violated immigration rules, just deport them. Why should they bother [with an investigation]?” said Indarti.
Indonesia is known to be overly sensitive about journalists covering issues in Papua, where a low-level insurgency against the central government has simmered for decades. The government rarely grants visas for foreigners to report independently in the region.
By branding all Papuans as would-be separatists, Indarti said the government has eroded basic freedoms of expression.
“If the local government can’t change their mindset, the situation won’t change,” she said.
Basoko Logo, spokesman of KNPB and one of the 49 detained protesters, urged the authorities to loosen its restrictions in Papua and West Papua provinces. 
“Several police officers told us that we couldn’t stage a rally as we didn’t have permission,” he told “Since when does a peaceful protest need approval from the local police? The rule says that we only need to inform them. The local police don’t have the right to ban us.”
Father John Djonga, an activist priest, acknowledged that in the past some KNPB protests had lead to violence.
“Still, the KNPB members must not be suppressed at all times,” he said.
The arrests “violate human rights,” the priest added.
Police sources could not be reached for comment.

Reporters Without Borders



Held since early August, Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois are to go on trial next week
After holding French journalists Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois in the eastern province of Papua for 70 days, the Indonesian authorities announced yesterday that they will be tried on a charge of misusing an entry visa, which carries a possible five-year jail sentence.
The authorities decided to go ahead with a trial in Papua’s capital, Jayapura, on 20 October despite many international calls for their release, including a petition launched by Reporters Without Borders and the Bourrat and Dandois support committee that has been signed by more than 8,000 people worldwide.
Reporters Without Borders appeals to the Indonesian justice system, now responsible for their continuing detention, to release the two journalists and dismiss all charges.
Bourrat and Dandois were arrested on 6 August for working as journalists after entering the country on tourist visas. In the past, the Indonesia authorities have usually just expelled journalists caught doing this.
Reporters Without Borders again calls for a display of leniency by the authorities in this case. Indonesia cannot pride itself on being the world’s third biggest democracy without respecting fundamental freedoms and human rights.
Indonesia has taken over the Global Government Partnership’s presidency and is preparing to participate in the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Milan and the next G20 meeting in Australia, so it has everything to gain by demonstrating its commitment to freedom of information and the fundamental and universal right to inform.
As one of the latest countries to sign the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in 2006, Indonesia cannot ignore the UN Human Rights Committee’s General Comment No. 34, adopted in 2011.
This comment says that it is breach of the covenant to “restrict freedom of movement of journalists and human rights investigators within the state party (including to conflict-affected locations, the sites of natural disasters and locations where there are allegations of human rights abuses).”
Reporters Without Borders also points that that, as part of its Universal Periodic Review by the UN Human Rights Council in 2012, Indonesia undertook to "ensure fair and proper legal action".
Indonesia’s low ranking in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index, 132nd out of 180 countries, is due in part to the lack of transparency and restrictions on reporting in Papua.
A google translate of article in Be-aware google translate can be a bit erratic. Original bahasa link at

Martine Bourrat, French journalist mother, Valentine Bourrat
3) Press Freedom in Papua Silenced 
Two French Journalists Origin trial in Jayapura District Court October 20, 2014 
By: Oktovianus Pogau | Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - 20:12 pm | Viewed: 189 times 
Jayapura, --- Two French journalists Thomas Dandois (40) and Valentine Bourrat (28), is rumored to be on trial in the District Court of Class IA Abepura, Jayapura, Papua, on Monday, October 20, 2014 to come. 
Prosecutors Head High (Attorney) Papua, Maruli Hutagalung, as confirmed this media via cell phones, on Wednesday (10/15/2014) afternoon, confirmed the information. 
Maruli said, the second trial schedule Arte French TV journalist has been issued by the Jayapura District Court, and the whole process of the trial will be conducted in Jayapura. 
"We've been notified about the trial schedule. Inaugural session will be held on Monday, October 20, 2014 at the Jayapura District Court, "said Maruli. 
Maruli Further, the trial was originally planned to be held in Class IIA Wamena district court, because the two journalists detained in Wamena, on August 6, 2014 and then, but a change of place of the hearing. 
"At that time we were wrong to say, they were not tried in Wamena, but in Jayapura, later session Monday, October 20, 2014," said Maruli. 
As written this medium before, Thomas and Valentine was arrested at a hotel in Wamena, Papua, by the Police Resort Wamena. (Read: Journalists of Origin France "secured" in Papua Police). 
Both were arrested after communicating with Areki Wanimbo, Lanny Jaya traditional council leaders, who allegedly had a relationship with the leadership of the Free Papua Movement - West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-PB) region Lanny Jaya, Purom Wenda. (Read: It's Chronology Arrest Two French journalists and four civilians in Wamena). 
Governor of Papua Province, Luke Enembe, has requested that the two journalists were released, then sent back to the country of origin They, however it is not ignored by the police and Immigration of Papua. (Read: Governor Have Two French Journalists Freed, Bucthar Tabuni: Too Late!). 
Press Council and the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) has asked the Indonesian government to release the two journalists of this, and return to their home countries. (Read: AJI Indonesia: Release Thomas and Valentine, Deportation Back to France). 
Australian Senate has called for Indonesia to free two journalists, and open access to Papua from international monitoring. (Read: Australian Senate Indonesian Ask Exempt Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat). 
A number of international organizations, such as Amnesty International, and Reporters Without Borders also called on Indonesia to release the two journalists. (Read: Up Day Two, Get Two Journalists Petition Reaches 5,000 More Liberated France). 
Most recently, dozens of members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) in Jayapura, Timika, Manokwari, Biak, Kaimana, FakFak, Nabire, and Yakuhimo also held rallies asking the two journalists were released. (Read: 29 Members Captured KNPB Merauke Police Finally Freed). 
Papua Student Alliance (AMP) in Jogjakarta, Bandung, and Surabay also staged to ask two journalists freed. (Read: AMP Yogyakarta Demo degree Urges Two French Journalists Freed). 
Mother of the Valentine Bourrat said to have flown all the way from France to Indonesia to ask his son freed, and is now located in Jayapura. (Read: Martine Bourrat: "I Will Live Up My Children in the Jayapura Exempt). 
Oktovianus POGAU

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