Sunday, May 10, 2015

1) In Papua, Jokowi frees 5

2) RI criticized for restricting  media access in Papua 
4) Papua governor absent during  Jokowi visit
5) President of Indonesia : Starting Tomorrow, All Foreign Journalists are Free to go to West Papua

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http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/05/10/in-papua-jokowi-frees-5.html

1) In Papua, Jokowi frees  5
Ina Parlina and Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Headlines | Sun, May 10 2015, 1:05 PM -

In an effort to foster peace in restive Papua province, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo granted clemency on Saturday to five political prisoners incarcerated in Jayapura.

The five Papuans, convicted of breaking into a military arsenal in Wamena in 2003, were immediately released after receiving letters confirming that the remainder of their sentences would be waived.

Jokowi personally handed over the documents to the men — Apotnaholik Lokobal, Linus Hiluka and Kimanus Wenda, each sentenced to 20 years in prison, as well as to Numbungga Telenggen and Yafrai Murib, who were sentenced to life.

“[We must] see the granting of clemency from the context of conflict resolution and in a framework of making Papua a land of peace,” Jokowi told reporters at Abepura prison.

“Today, we’re releasing these five detainees to stop the stigma surrounding conflict in Papua,” he said. 

Jokowi added that the release was only the beginning. “There will be a follow-up by granting clemency or amnesty to other [political prisoners] in other regions,” he added, referring to around 90 other political prisoners currently incarcerated throughout the nation.

Jokowi said the government expected the prisoners to join the community and take part in development projects after their release.

Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna H. Laoly said that the clemency might also cover those involved in the South Maluku Republic (RMS) separatist movement.

Latifa Anum Siregar, the lawyer representing the five, applauded Jokowi’s move.

“The clemency shows that the government is taking one step forward in upholding democracy,” said Latifa, who is also the director of the Democratic Alliance for Papua (ALDP). “We hope that the President will make another move by granting clemency to other political detainees and prisoners, making room for freedom of expression and promoting dialog.”

Others, however, have criticized Jokowi.

A representative of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence’s (Kontras) Papua office said that Jokowi should have given amnesty.

“It is supposed to be amnesty, instead of clemency. There’s nothing special about clemency. Amnesty instead could set a benchmark in a democracy,” Kontras’ Papua office coordinator Olga Helena Hamadi said.

Yasonna defended Jokowi’s move, saying that it signified goodwill from the government.

“Amnesty is not entirely under the President’s authority since it needs approval from the House of Representatives. We are concerned about the political process at the House,” he said.

Jokowi has pledged to develop Papua, which remains one of the poorest regions in the country despite its abundant natural resources.

On the presidential campaign trail last year in Papua, Jokowi pledged that he would also open access to Papua and West Papua for foreign journalists and international organizations.

Later on Saturday, Jokowi ordered Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gen. Moeldoko and National Police chief Gen. Badrodin Haiti to stop using repressive measures in Papua.

He called on the security personnel to promote dialogue with the Papuan people.

“Dialogue is important to build trust. Now, there’s only distrust. The TNI and police hesitate to do something because of distrust. The same goes for the Papuan people,” he said. - 

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2) RI criticized for restricting  media access in Papua 
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Sun, May 10 2015, 11:51 AM
Human Rights Watch (HRW) says redress for human right s abuses against people who peacefully express support for self-determination in Papua is often obstructed by a lack of transparency fueled by official restrictions on media access.
“The Indonesian government has for decades effectively blocked foreign media from freely reporting in Papua by only allowing access to foreign journalists who get special official permission to visit the island,” HRW said in a statement on Saturday.
The New York-based rights group said the government had rarely approved these applications, hampering efforts by journalists and non-government groups to report on breaking events.
“Official minders invariably shadow journalists who do get official permissions, strictly controlling their movements and access to people they want to interview,” the statement said.
HRW noted that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo himself had told a group of foreign reporters during his visit to Papua’s provincial capital of Jayapura on Saturday that he would declare a complete lifting of those restrictions on May 10.
However, the group said, the President did not provide any details, and it was uncertain how quickly and how effectively the Foreign Ministry, which has long regulated foreign media access to Papua, would implement the measure.
“There are also serious questions about the degree to which Papuan security forces will respect the right of foreign media to freely operate in Papua,” said HRW.
The government detained two French journalists, namely Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat, for violating news coverage regulations in August 2014.
“Indonesian authorities detained the two French journalists who were producing a documentary, and threatened them with ‘subversion’ charges for allegedly filming members of the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM),” said HRW.
On Oct. 6, 2014, a court in Papua’s city of Jayapura convicted them of “abusive use of entry visas,” sentenced them to time served, and released them the same day.
HRW added that although the government permitted Indonesian domestic media to report from Papua, there were serious questions about the reliability and objectivity of their reporting in the face of government efforts to control the flow of information from the island.
“Official documents leaked in 2011 indicate that the Indonesian military employs about two dozen Papua-based Indonesian journalists as informers,” it said.
“The military has also financed and trained journalists and bloggers, warning them about alleged foreign interference in Papua, including by the US and other governments,” it went on.
HRW Asia deputy director Phelim Kine said if President Joko Widodo was serious about addressing Papua’s violations of human rights, he should start by releasing all political prisoners, freeing the media, and demanding meaningful investigations into abuses.
“Every one of Indonesia’s political prisoners is an affront to basic human dignity and makes a mockery of Indonesia’s claim to being a rights-respecting nation,” he said. (ebf)
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Clemency for 5 Papuan Leaves Dozens Behind Bars
MAY 9, 2015

The release of five prisoners raises hope that the many political prisoners still held would be freed, but they remain unlawfully behind bars. The Indonesian government should release all political prisoners with an immediate presidential amnesty rather than demand prisoners admit ‘guilt’ for convictions that violated their basic human rights.
Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director
(Jakarta) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s move to grant clemency to five Papuan prisoners ignores the dozens of political prisoners who remain behind bars in Papua and the Moluccas islands, Human Rights Watch said today.
Widodo announced clemency for Apotnalogolik LokobalNumbungga TelenggenKimanus Wenda,Linus Hiluka, and Jefrai Murib while visiting Papua’s provincial capital of Jayapura on May 9, 2015. The five men, convicted by a Wamena court in 2003 for their alleged role in a raid on an Indonesian Armed Forces weapons arsenal in Wamena on April 4, 2003, that resulted in the deaths of two soldiers, were serving prison terms ranging from 19 years and 10 months to life imprisonment. They were released during Widodo’s visit to Abepura prison, in Jayapura. Only Telenggen and Murib, who were sentenced to life, were involved in the raid. The other three were arrested because of their pro-independence views.
“The release of five prisoners raises hope that the many political prisoners still held would be freed, but they remain unlawfully behind bars,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director. “The Indonesian government should release all political prisoners with an immediate presidential amnesty rather than demand prisoners admit ‘guilt’ for convictions that violated their basic human rights.”
The nongovernmental political prisoners’ advocacy organization Papuans Behind Bars lists a total of 38 Papuans imprisoned, detained, on trial, or awaiting trial on charges that violate their freedom of expression and association. There are an estimated 29 other political prisoners in the Moluccas Islands, according to the Ambon-based Tamasu human rights group.
Most Papuan political prisoners reject the concept of clemency as it requires an admission of guilt in return for release.
The government consistently arrests and jails protesters for peacefully advocating independence or other political change. Many such arrests and prosecutions are of activists who peacefully raise banned symbols, such as the Papuan Morning Star and the South Moluccan RMS flags.
Human Rights Watch takes no position on the right to self-determination, but opposes imprisonment of people who peacefully express support for self-determination.
Under Indonesian law, the president has three options for releasing prisoners: clemency, amnesty, or abolition. Clemencies require a request for clemency from the prisoner and an admission of guilt. Indonesian law obligates the president to consult the Supreme Court prior to granting any clemencies. The president can also grant convicted prisoners an amnesty and grant prisoners whose legal process is not yet exhausted abolition. Neither abolitions nor amnesties require a prisoner’s request or admission of guilt, but the president must consult the House of Representatives prior to issuing either abolition or an amnesty.
Most of Indonesia’s political prisoners were convicted of makar (rebellion or treason) under articles 106 and 110 of the Indonesian Criminal Code. Article 6 of Government Regulation 77/2007, which regulates regional symbols and prohibits display of flags or logos that have the same features as “organizations, groups, institutions or separatist movements.” Both the Papuan Morning Star flag and the “Benang Raja” (rainbow) flag of the Republic of the South Moluccas (Republik Maluku Selatan, RMS) are considered to fall under this ban.
Many such prisoners have been sentenced to 10 years or more in prison. In many cases the activists were tortured by police while in pretrial detention. Some have faced mistreatment and denial of medical treatment while in prison. The government justifies its arrest of Papuan activists as part of its ongoing conflict with the small and poorly organized Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka, OPM). 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.
Those Papuan political prisoners who refused the government’s offer of clemency included Filep Karma, a civil servant, who is serving 15 years for raising the Morning Star flag – a West Papua independence symbol – in December 2004. In November 2011, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called him a political prisoner and asked the Indonesian government to release him “immediately and unconditionally.” Indonesia rejected the recommendation.
The conduct of the Indonesian security forces in Papua has also bred a deepening antipathy between native Papuans and Indonesian authorities. The security forces in Papua have been implicated in dozens of human rights abuses over the past decade, including the killing of five unarmed peaceful protesters in the remote town of Enarotali on December 8, 2014. Three separate official probes into the shootings, conducted by the police, the national human rights commission, and an informal military-and-police effort, have yet to release the result of their investigations.
Redress for such abuses is often obstructed by a lack of transparency fueled by official restrictions on media freedom in Papua. The Indonesian government has for decades effectively blocked foreign media from freely reporting in Papua by only allowing access to foreign journalists who get special official permission to visit the island. The government rarely approves these applications or delays processing them, hampering efforts by journalists and nongovernmental groups to report on breaking events. Official minders invariably shadow journalists who do get official permission, strictly controlling their movements and access to people they want to interview.
Widodo told a group of foreign reporters on May 9 that he would declare a complete lifting of those restrictionson May 10. However, he did not provide any details and it is uncertain how quickly and how effectively Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has long regulated foreign media access to Papua, will implement the measure. There are also serious questions about the degree to which Papuan security forces will respect the right of foreign media to freely operate in Papua.
Indonesian authorities in August 2014 detained Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat, two French journalists who were producing a documentary, and threatened them with “subversion” charges for allegedly filming members of the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM). On October 6, a court in Papua’s city of Jayapura convicted them of “abusive use of entry visas,” sentenced them to time served, and released them the same day.
Although the government permits Indonesian domestic media to report from Papua, there are serious questions about the reliability and objectivity of their reporting in the face of government efforts to control the flow of information from the island. Official documents leaked in 2011 indicate that the Indonesian military employs about two dozen Papua-based Indonesian journalists as informers. The military has also financed and trained journalists and bloggers, warning them about alleged foreign interference in Papua, including by the US and other governments.
“If President Widodo is serious about addressing Papua’s toxic fear, impunity, and violations of human rights, he should start by releasing all political prisoners, freeing the media, and demanding meaningful investigations into abuses,” Kine said. “Every one of Indonesia’s political prisoners is an affront to basic human dignity and makes a mockery of Indonesia’s claim to be a rights-respecting nation.”
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4) Papua governor absent during  Jokowi visit
Papuan Governor Lukas Enembe has not been accompanying President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo during the latter's visit to the easternmost province, which began on Friday.
“Governor [Enembe] could not accompany the President this time because he has other responsibilities,” said Papua administration spokesman, FX Mote, adding he could not elaborate on what those duties were.
He said the President had been accompanied by deputy governor Klemen Tinal instead. “We hope President Jokowi’s development plan [for Papua] will run smoothly even though the visit was not joined by the governor,” he said as quoted by Antara news agency.
On his second visit to Papua, the President is scheduled to inaugurate several development projects. The projects include a fiber optic facility belonging to state telecommunications firm PT Telkom, the IPDN Papua campus, a sports venue for the upcoming PON 2020 event -- which Papua will host -- and the Halltekamp Bridge, which will link Jayapura to other areas.
The President is also expected visit the LNG Tangguh gas mining site in Bintuni, West Papua.(++++)
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5) President of Indonesia : Starting Tomorrow, All Foreign Journalists are Free to go to West Papua

Jayapura, Jubi – ‘Starting tomorrow, (Sunday 10/5), all foreign journalists are free to go to West Papua. No more problem,” President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said to Jubi, answered a question on access of foreign journalists to enter West Papua which have been restricted.
President Jokowi added no longer need a special permit for foreign journalists who come to Papua, same as the journalist want to cover other areas in Indonesia.
“For foreign journalists there is no more problems. What else? Jakarta need a permit? No, no, no!” Jokowi said firmly.
When mentioned about Clearing House that had been limiting the foreign journalists to enter West Papua, President Jokowi said it will be no longer Clearing House. When asked again about his statement, the President said he is very confident on his statement.
“I am sure. I have conveyed to the stakeholders here, In Papua. Also the minister, Panglima and Kapolri in Jakarta. What is lacking?” he asked again.
Previously, the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) specifically noted, until 2015, the freedom of the press in Papua is still restrained. Clearing House, an coordination institution in Jakarta has been used to restrict access to any foreign journalists who wish to enter West Papua. In fact, every foreign journalist who had permits to enter West Papua, often being followed or escorted in doing journalistic works. It made journalists are not free in performing public duties.
“AJI expressed restriction of access of journalists in West Papua will bring the worse impact for peoples of West Papua, and Indonesia. Restrictions would encourage the emergence of more sites are far from the principles of work of journalism that needs the verification and confirmation,” said Chairman of AJI Indonesia, Suwarjono in Public Discussion on Freedom of the Press in Papua, April 29 at the Press Council.
According Suwarjono, information circulating through the Internet, which can not be prevented from spreading, could not be verified by journalists as difficulty to perform his duties because of the restrictions. (Victor Mambor)
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