Friday, October 17, 2014

1) Police Mobile Brigade removed after clash with TNI

3) 30 Participants from Puncak Jaya Take Part in Industrial Training
4) Nutritious Meals Program for Pregnant Women in Tolikara
5) Leniency call for journalists on trial in West Papua
6) HRW calls for Indonesia to free French journalists

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1) Police Mobile Brigade removed  after clash with TNI
Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Fri, October 17 2014, 9:09 AM

The Papua Police have withdrawn members of the Kelapa Dua Mobile Brigade (Brimob) Detachment III from Lanny Jaya regency to Jayapura following a clash with members of the Indonesian Military (TNI). 

“To calm the situation and prevent further trouble, the Brimob members have been removed to Jayapura,” said Papua Police chief spokesman Sr. Comr. Pudjo Sulistyo in Jayapura on Thursday. The unit has been replaced with members of the Papua Brimob Unit.

The clash between members of the 756 Infantry Battalion and Kelapa Dua Brimob members assigned to Pirime, Lanny Jaya, in which battalion commander Lt. Ali Okta suffered wounds to his left thigh, occurred on Oct. 13.

Brimob personnel were conducting a search when a soldier traveling in a truck refused to be searched. A misunderstanding ensued, resulting in a firefight. 

The decision to withdraw the Brimob members was taken after Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Yotje Mende led a team to Pirime to investigate the clash.

The team consisted of high-ranking officers from the Papua Police headquarters alongside Cenderawasih Military Command’s intelligence assistant Lt. Col. Ihutma Sihombing, 172 Regiment chief Lt. Col. Rano Tilaar and 756 Infantry Battalion commander Lt. Col. Andi Parulian.

 “We worked for two consecutive days on Tuesday and Wednesday and got statements from both sides, as well as from witnesses. We’ve inspected the scene and conducted an initial reconstruction, and concluded that the dispute between members of the 756 Infantry Battalion and Brimob Detachment III was due to misunderstanding and uncontrolled emotions,” said Pudjo. 

He added that after a thorough inquiry, the combatant parties had forgiven each other, while the injured victims had received treatment at the Marthen Indey Hospital in Jayapura.

Pudjo said an in-depth investigation would be conducted by a joint team from the Papua Police headquarters and Cenderawasih Military Command involving a forensics lab for technical assistance, which, he said, was very much needed in the investigation.

Meanwhile, local officials assured reporters that the incident would not affect local people’s daily lives.

“I have held a meeting with community leaders and all agency working units and have reassured the public that the situation in Lanny Jaya is safe,” Lanny Jaya regency secretary Christian Sohilait told The Jakarta Post by phone from regency capital Tiom.

A separate clash occurred between TNI members and police officers on the Km 38 stretch of the Balikpapan-Samarinda highway in Kutai Kartanegara regency, East Kalimantan, on Tuesday evening.

“We are still building the case. We will release details to the media about it soon,” said Mulawarman Military Command chief spokesman Col. Totok Surahmat on Wednesday.

He confirmed the involvement of TNI soldiers in the attack on the Samboja Traffic Police post.

The traffic police post is located on Km 38 stretch of the Balikpapan-Samarinda highway, close to a TNI cavalry base on the Km 28 stretch. 

Prior to the incident, at 10 p.m. local time on Tuesday, police at the post were conducting routine checks on all passing vehicles.

Based on information gathered from local residents, the officers stopped a fuel tanker. 

The driver was uncooperative toward police officers and a quarrel ensued.

Soon, scores of men on motorcycles approached the police post and assaulted brigadiers Bahri and Deni Wahyudi who were manning the post. They suffered facial and head wounds.

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Halt October 20 Trial of Journalists Charged Under Oppressive Media Regime
OCTOBER 16, 2014
(New York) The Indonesian government should dismiss charges against two French journalists in the easternmost province of Papua and end restrictions on foreign media there, Human Rights Watch said today. Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat face trial on October 20, 2014, on charges of “abusive use of entry visas,” after being detained while producing adocumentary for Franco-German Arte TV.

The arrest and prosecution of Dandois and Bourrat reflect the Indonesian government’s long-standingpolicy of obstructing independent media coverage in Papua, where a low-level conflict has persisted for decades. Foreign journalists need special official permission to visit the island – which the government rarely approves and often delays processing, hindering reporting on breaking news. Journalists who do get official permission are invariably shadowed by official minders, who strictly control their movements and access to interviewees.

“The Indonesian government’s chokehold on Papua media coverage has effectively turned foreign journalism in the province into a criminal activity,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director. “The government should drop the charges against Dandois and Bourrat as a first step toward ending the gag on foreign media reporting on Papua.”

Police arrested and detained Dandois and Bourrat on August 6 on suspicion of “working illegally” without official media accreditation. On August 14 the Papua police spokesman, Sulistyo Pudjo, suggested that the two journalists would face “subversion” charges for allegedly filming members of the armed separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM). Pudjo suggested that the Arte TV journalists “were part of an effort to destabilize Papua.” Police in Papua have rejected the French government’s confirmation of Dandois and Bourrat’s journalistic bona fides on the basis that neither possessed an up-to-date press card.

The Indonesian government has responded harshly to foreign media efforts to circumvent the official obstacles to reporting from Papua. In July 2013, Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa defended the foreign media ban by warning of unnamed “elements in Papua who are keen to gain international attention by doing harm to international personalities, including journalists.” Although the government permits Indonesian domestic media to report from Papua, there are serious concerns about its reliability in the face of government efforts to control the flow of information from the province. Official documents leaked in 2011 indicate that the Indonesian military employs some two-dozen Papua-based Indonesian journalists as informers, raising doubts about the objectivity of their reporting. The Indonesian military has also financed and trained journalists and bloggers, warning them about alleged foreign interference in Papua, including by the US and other governments.

The government justifies its restrictions on media access to Papua as a necessary security precaution due to the ongoing conflict with the OPM. The OPM is small and poorly organized, though it has increased in sophistication in recent years. Tensions heightened in Papua in February 2013 following a suspected OPM attack on Indonesian military forces that killed eight soldiers – the worst act of violence against the military in the area in more than 10 years. The government also consistently arrests and jails Papuan protesters for peacefully advocating independence or other political change. Currently more than 60 Papuan activists are in prison on charges of “treason.”

Media freedom is enshrined in international human rights law and is crucial for ensuring respect for other rights. The media play a crucial role in exposing abuses of power, human rights violations, corporate malfeasance, and health and environmental crises, thus helping to ensure that the public is informed, abuses cease, criminals face justice, and victims can seek redress.

The core international human rights instruments uphold media freedom, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 19), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (article 19), which Indonesia ratified in 2005. Article 28 of the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia guarantees the freedom “to express written and oral opinions,” while article 28F guarantees “the right to communicate and to obtain information … and the right to seek, obtain, possess, store, process and convey information.”

The United Nations Human Rights Committee, the independent body that monitors compliance with the ICCPR, has stated that “Journalism is a function shared by a wide range of actors, including professional full-time reporters and analysts, as well as bloggers and others who engage in forms of self-publication in print, on the internet or elsewhere, and general State systems of registration or licensing of journalists are incompatible” with the full realization of freedom of expression “essential for the promotion and protection of human rights.”

While governments may place restrictions on the right to freedom of movement on national security grounds, the manner and extent of such restrictions must be necessary and proportionate to attain a legitimate government purpose. The broad-brush government restrictions on foreign media access to Papua go beyond what is permissible under international law.

The government of outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been unwilling to loosen restrictions on journalists’ access to Papua. In December 2013, Human Rights Watch and three domestic human rights organizations sent a letter to Vice President Boediono, who led government reconciliation efforts in the province, asking him to end Papua’s media isolation. No response was ever received. Yudhoyono’s successor, President-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who was elected on July 9, 2014, and will take office on October 20, visited Papua on June 5 during the election campaign and indicated that he would open access to Papua for foreign journalists and international organizations.

“Indonesia’s new president should demonstrate that the government ‘has nothing to hide’ in Papua by lifting official obstacles to reporting in the province,” Kine said. “When he takes office on October 20, President Widodo needs to show his commitment to press freedom by dropping charges against Dandois and Bourrat and ending the government’s oppressive media policy in Papua.”
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3) 30 Participants from Puncak Jaya Take Part in Industrial Training

Jayapura, Jubi – Puncak Jaya Civil Registry Office of Population, Manpower and Transmigration (Disnukcapilkertrans) has sent 30 students to take part in courses in carpentry, fashion and motorcycle repair at the Industrial Training Center (BLKI)  in Jayapura.
“What is done today is a good move. I hope the courses will be extended to the intermediate and advanced levels, ” head of the Indurstrial Training Center, John, said on Wednesday (15/10).
Currently there are 17 programs offered, excluding agriculture. Motorcycle repair and carpentry courses will take for 30 days, while sewing or dressmaking courses are scheduled for 14 days.
” I hope Disnukcapilkertrans can coordinate with the head of department or the Regent so that they are not only trained, but also given capital to open a business so that they can practice their skills,” Naa added.
The course is intended to reduce the number of unemployed in Puncak and costs about Rp. 1.3 billion rupiah, Theopilus Anes said. (Roberth Wanggai/Tina)
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4) Nutritious Meals Program for Pregnant Women in Tolikara

Jayapura, Jubi – Tolikara government is providing nutritious meals for pregnant women as part of a safe pregnancy program, Tolikara regent Usman Wanimbo said.
Under the program about 300 expectant mothers are given nutritious food intake once daily.
“We have a public kitchen and it has been running for a year. In the future, if there is a budget, pregnant women will be given nutritious food twice a day, “the regent told reporters in Jayapura on Wednesday (15/10). So far, as many as 33 babies have been born healthy, he said.
The budget allocated  for 1,000 days supply of nutritious food  is at Rp 4 billion. The government said it did not want to give the funds directly to pregnant women due to fear that would be used for other things.
“We also always provide counseling to pregnant women,” Usman added..
Under the plan, when a child is two years old, he/ she will be moved to a boarding school in District Bokindini, Karubaga and Kanggime districts.
“In the future the boarding schools will be privately managed. Therefore, we can identify children’s ability from an early age. Four languages​​, including English, Indonesian, and Mandarin will be taught to the kids. We hope that it will improve Tolikara human resources for a better future,” he said.
Earlier, the chief of Tolikara medical officer, Yusak Toto,  said the nutrition program is aimed at fulfilling the Tolikara regent’s vision for the regency. (Arjuna Pademme/Tina)
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5) Leniency call for journalists on trial in West Papua

Updated at 2:50 pm on 16 October 2014


Reporters without Borders has again called on Indonesia to display leniency and dismiss all charges against two French journalists accused of violating their travel permits in West Papua.
Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois are to go on trial on Monday in the Indonesian provincial capital Jayapura on a charge of misusing an entry visa.
They were arrested in early August for working as journalists after entering the country on tourist visas.
Reporters Without Borders says in the past, the Indonesian authorities have usually just expelled journalists caught doing this.
The group says Indonesia cannot pride itself on being the world's third biggest democracy without respecting fundamental freedoms and human rights.
It points out that restricting the freedom of movement of journalists is a breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which Indonesia signed in 2006.
According to West Papua Media Alerts, 66 West Papuan activists were arrested by Indonesian Police in Jayapura and Merauke on Monday, as rallies in support of the journalists attracted thousands of people across the region.


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6) HRW calls for Indonesia to free French journalists

Updated at 2:17 pm on 17 October 2014


The group Human Rights Watch has called on the Indonesian government to dismiss charges against two French journalists in Papua and end restrictions on foreign media there.
Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat face trial on Monday on charges of abusive use of entry visas after being detained while producing a documentary for Franco-German Arte TV.
They have been held since August and risk five years in prison.
The deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, Phelim Kine, says the Indonesian government's chokehold on Papua media coverage has effectively turned foreign journalism in the province into a criminal activity.
The government justifies its restrictions on media access to Papua as a necessary security precaution due to the ongoing conflict with the OPM.
Human Rights Watch says the broad-brush government restrictions on foreign media access to Papua go beyond what is permissible under international law.
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