Sunday, May 3, 2015

1) Indonesia’s Press Freedom Deteriorates

2) Open access for journalists  to Papua: AJI
3) Indonesia's history of brutality
4) Papua Solidarity Urged President Jokowi to Open Humanitarian Access for Papua
5) Access to Foreign Journalist to Papua is Crucial, says AJI Papua Chairman
1) Indonesia’s Press Freedom Deteriorates
By Jakarta Globe on 09:08 pm May 03, 2015

Malang. Indonesia has dropped to 138th place in the latest World Press Freedom Index, as journalists declare police an enemy of free speech and activists call for an end to restrictions on news coverage in Papua.
International non-profit group Reporters Without Border released in conjunction with World Press Freedom Day on Sunday a report that downgraded Indonesia from its previous position of 132nd place, out of 180 countries surveyed.
Finland tops the list for five consecutive years, with three other Scandinavian countries — Norway, Denmark and Sweden — also dominating the top five positions,  ranking second, third and fifth, respectively. The Netherlands is the only non-Scandinavian country in the top five.
At the bottom of the list is Eritrea (180th), North Korea (179th), Turkmenistan (178th), Syria (177th) and China (176th).
Meanwhile, North Africa and the Middle East have once again gained the status of “information black holes,” dominating bottom places in the rankings.
Only Brunei and Thailand rank better than Indonesia among Southeast Asian countries, standing in 121st and 134th places respectively. Timor-Leste outranks the three nations in 103rd place.
Cambodia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos and Vietnam all scored lower than Indonesia, while France is ranked 38th, the United States 49th, Japan 61st, Russia 152nd and Iran 173rd.
Reporters Without Border, which promotes freedom of the press and information, considered the 2015 index an alarming reflection of the “worldwide deterioration” of both in 2014.
“There was a drastic decline in freedom of information in 2014. Two-thirds of the 180 countries surveyed for the 2015 World Press Freedom Index performed less well than in the previous year,” the France-based NGO said. “Beset by wars, the growing threat from non-state operatives, violence during demonstrations and the economic crisis, media freedom is in retreat on all five continents.”

The Malang, East Java, chapter of Indonesia’s Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) again declared the Indonesian police an enemy of the press, citing several cases of criminalization against journalists, including the arrest of two French reporters in Papua and the naming of Jakarta Post editor-in-chief Meidyatama Suryodiningrat a criminal suspect over the publication of a caricature deemed offensive by some Muslim groups.
“This is the fourth time the police have been labeled an enemy to the press since 2007,” said Eko Widianto, head of the Malang AJI chapter. “President Joko Widodo must conduct major reforms to change the police force.”
Citing data from the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, Eko pointed out 80 cases of criminalization against Indonesian netizens for expressing their opinions via the Internet, with those targeted ranging from students and homemakers to activists and lawyers.
Eko blamed Indonesia’s electronic information and transaction law, which was passed in 2008 and has since been deemed a threat to freedom of information. “[The law] has caused fear among people, preventing them from speaking up,” he said.

The AJI called for an investigation into the unsolved murder cases of eight journalist, with the oldest — the murder Bernas Yogyakarta reporter Udin — dating back to 1997 and the latest — the death of Alfred Mirulewan, a journalist with the Pelangi tabloid in Maluku — taking place in 2010.
Eko also urged Indonesian officials to grant the media access to Papua and West Papua provinces, where local journalists are allegedly pushed by security forces to only write reports based on military and police directives. Foreign journalists are barred from both provinces, while those who are permitted to enter are closely watched by security personnel.

The restrictions have even garnered scrutiny from international rights group Human Rights Watch.
“The broad restrictions on reporting from Papua encourage security force abuses and profoundly undermine the public’s right to know what’s happening there,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director of HRW. “International Press Freedom Day is a golden opportunity for the Indonesian government to finally end its chokehold on foreign media access to Papua.
“[The president] should deliver on his promise to end the severe restrictions on media access to Papua and allow both foreign and domestic media to operate there without interference. Nobody is going to believe the government has ‘nothing to hide’ in Papua until media can freely report from there.”

2) Open access for journalists  to Papua: AJI
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Sun, May 03 2015, 4:41 PM -
The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) has urged the government to end restrictions on media access in Papua, as the world commemorates World Press Freedom Day on Sunday.
“We urge the government to open access for journalists to Papua. There is no reason to isolate it from the world,” AJI head Sujarwono told The Jakarta Post over the phone on Sunday.
The government implements a strict access policy for foreign journalists to enter Papua, an area with a history of rampant human rights abuses. Journalists are required to obtain a special permit from a “clearing house” that consists of 12 government ministries and agencies, as well as the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Police.
Indonesian journalists working in Papua have, furthermore, reported intimidation from local authorities.
“Such New Order-style bureaucracy is outdated, as current technology allows information to spread quickly,” Sujarwono said, adding that a lack of information regarding Papua resulted in more bad press than good press.
Previously, the Jayapura District Court convicted French journalists Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat of abusing entry visas in October 2014 after they allegedly filmed members of the Free Papua Movement (OPM).
Sujarwono said that the media could help form a cleaner and more transparent government, as corruption and human rights abuse cases could not be uncovered due to the restriction.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo stated in June 2014 that he intended to remove obstacles for foreign journalists and international organizations to visit Papua, but has not mentioned the issue since.
“There hasn’t been good synchronization between Jokowi and his administration. The clearing house should be disbanded,” Sujarwono concluded. (fsu)(+++)

3) Indonesia's history of brutality
From the 1800s until World War II, Indonesia was a Dutch colony.
Today we may think of the Dutch as a race of benevolent liberals, many of whom sit in Amsterdam cafes smoking hash and listening to bad Eurojazz, but like all colonists, the Dutch engaged in their fair share of brutality and exploitation.
That's why Indonesian nationalist Sukarno sided with the Japanese after they invaded in 1942 and declared himself president of an independent republic after the Japanese were defeated in 1945.
This displeased the peace-loving Dutch who used military force to try and regain their former colony, against the wishes of most Indonesians.
Of course, New Zealand did nothing.
At the time, my father, a committed Leftie, thought Indonesia should be for Indonesians, so went around Wellington writing 'Hands off Indonesia' on various walls.
As much as dad and his comrades believed in worldwide revolution and the abolition of private property, they respected the private property of Wellingtonians so much that they didn't want to ruin it with paint, so they used chalk to write their graffiti.
Unfortunately, dad's semi-literate comrades who worked in factories – he was at university – couldn't spell 'Indonesia' so dad suggested that chalking 'Hands off Java' would work just as well.
In the mid-1960s, President Sukarno was seen by many in the Indonesian military, and the US, as being too close to the communists, so the military unleashed a bloody coup.
Up to 500,000 Indonesian civilians were butchered. Their murderers not only went free but were rewarded by new president, General Suharto, a great friend of the United States.

In 1974, a bloodless military coup in Portugal ended 40 years of fascist dictatorship there.
Portugal's new socialist leaders declared their former colonies independent, including East Timor.
Suharto informed his American mate Henry Kissinger of his intention to invade East Timor, received his tacit approval, and unleashed a bloody reign of terror in our Pacific backyard.
A New Zealand television journalist, along with some Australian colleagues, was murdered by the Indonesians in East Timor soon after the invasion.
Of course, New Zealand did nothing.
By the 1990s, Suharto's genocidal behaviour towards the East Timorese had outraged the world.
US President Clinton, during a visit to New Zealand, signalled that something would have to be done. My God, New Zealand did something.
Now that Uncle Sam officially disapproved of Indonesia, it was OK for New Zealand to say 'me too'.
Indonesia reluctantly withdrew from East Timor and our peacekeepers served with distinction to ensure that East Timor became independent and democratic.
For the first time, I was proud of something the New Zealand military did in my lifetime.
The corrupt Suharto was eventually deposed, yet the military remains and thousands of Indonesians still belong to paramilitary organisations of the type that carried out the 1960s slaughter.
Currently, the indigenous people of West Papua are suffering the same brutal repression from Indonesia that was faced by their East Timorese cousins.
Of course, New Zealand has done nothing.
With such a history of brutality, carried out with the tacit support of countries like ours, is it surprising that the Indonesian Government has draconian drug laws and cruelly executes people the way  it  did to eight people convicted of drug trafficking recently?
New Zealanders, most of whom can't tell their Suhartos from their Sukarnos and don't know where East Timor or West Papua are located on a map, were justifiably outraged by the executions, and called for action.
Our Government, instead of reverting to its default setting of silently condoning Indonesia's bad behaviour, actually condemned the executions.
Could this be because two Australian citizens were among the eight executed?
Indonesia should be a good friend and neighbour. Yet it has often been led by corrupt and brutal politicians.
Perhaps this is because countries like ours, with our 'me too' foreign policy, have condoned Indonesia's bad behaviour for over 50 years.
Maybe that simply encouraged their leaders to laugh in our face over our objections to their ghastly executions, knowing that as long as Indonesia toes the Western foreign policy line, there is little danger of retribution for any of their bestial acts.
 - The Dominion Post
4) Papua Solidarity Urged President Jokowi to Open Humanitarian Access for Papua

Papua Solidarity, in Jakarta, urged the Government of Indonesia to open the humanitarian access to Papua – #papuaitukita

Jayapura, Jubi – About forty national and international organizations united in Papua Solidarity urged the Government of Indonesia to open the humanitarian access to Papua. They held a peaceful march simultaneously on Thursday (29/4/2015) in twenty cities of ten countries in the world. This movement urged the Government of Indonesia to open the access for foreign journalists to Papua.
“In some recent years, several journalists from the Czech Republic, French and Netherlands have been deported for reporting on the political situation of peace in Papua. “In Papua, violence and intimidation against local and national journalists are at high risk,” cited Jakarta International for Papua Solidarity in press release received by Jubi on Wednesday (29/4/2015).
It reported on 30 July 2010, journalist Ardiansyah Matrais was founded be drowned in Maro River, Merauke after repeatedly terrorized by military when he conducted investigation on illegal logging. On 24 August 2010, two agents of State Intelligent Agency (BIN) attacked Radio 68 H reporter Musa Kondorura.
On 3 March 2011, journalist Banjir Ambarita who works for Jakarta Globe and Bintang Papua was attacked and stubbed after reporting a police officer who raped a woman prisoner and causing the resignation of Abepura Police Chief Imam Setiawan.
While the Alliance of Independent Journalist (AJI) Indonesia recorded there are seven cases of violence and intimidation against journalists, and it increased to be twelve cases in 2012. In July 2013, the house of a journalist from independent online media Majalah Selangkah was raided and searched by unknown people.
The report continued to report serious violations against human rights, including acts of torture, enforced disappearances, murder, dignity degradation, the use of excessive force and arbitrary detention against Papuans by the Indonesian security force.
In August 2014, the West Papua National Committee’s activist has been kidnapped, tortured, killed and his body was dumped in the river without police’s investigation. Only a few media published this story.
At least six people were shot and twenty-one were arrested by Papua Police officers in Yahukimo Regency in March 2015. 48 years Village Chief Obang Sengenil died by bullet in this incident.
The freedom and open access to Papua for international journalists, humanitarian and human rights organizations will serve the efforts to endorse the protection and respect towards human rights for Papuans and those who consider Papua as their home.
The termination towards the access restriction to Papua is not only in accordance with the international obligation of the Government of Indonesia but it will also strengthen its position as undemocratic country. Therefore, Papua Solidarity asked the Government of Indonesia to (1) discontinue the violence and intimidation towards journalists in Papua, conduct the investigation towards alleged acts of violence and bring the involved perpetrator to trial; (2) to abolish all visit restrictions for foreign journalists to Papua and freedom restriction to build movement inside Papua, including visa application system selected by government’s clearing house; (3) to provide access for international humanitarian and human right organizations to carry out their work without fear of restriction and get assurance with the standard of international human right; (4) to open the space of freedom and restriction access to UN Special Rapporteurs who intend to visit and report the current situation in Papua. The Government of Indonesia in particular must invite David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion as promised in the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva in 2012.
Papua Solidarity consisting of about forty national and international organization will conduct a peaceful march simultaneously in Jakarta, Australia, Pacific and Europe to urge the Government of Indonesia to open the access for foreign journalist to Papua. (Arnold Belau/Domnggus Mampioper/rom)
5) Access to Foreign Journalist to Papua is Crucial, says AJI Papua Chairman

Jayapura, Jubi – Chairman of Papua Alliance of Independent Journalist, Victor Mambor said to open the access for foreign journalist to Papua is crucial in preventing misinterpretation about Papua in the interview with Alliance of Independent Journalist Indonesia during the World Press Freedom Day (WFPD) 2015 last week.
He explained currently media progress in Papua is continuously improved as well as the challenges, including the human resources, financial and ethics issues and journalist positioning. Now in Papua the number of journalists is growing in connection with the media grows.
“However, it can say those who have skills and ethics were not growing in parallel. About the challenges, there are no significant changes. The journalists are still facing the threat of violence with the same intensity like just happened in previous years,” Mambor said.
The Papua’s geographical situation becomes the greatest challenge for journalistsin Papua. This condition has made them find difficulty to cover both side stories in the verification or confirmation process. As the result some news from Papua frequently could be incomplete or bias with the authorities’ interest.
“Every year there are four or five foreign journalists asked me about the current situation in Papua. Most of them were not allowed to come to Papua. Based on their information, I can make a conclusion that their applications to cover the reports in Papua were ignored. Even, they did not receive any response whether they could have permit or not,” he said.
He further said the more closed of the access would raise questions from the international community about what was happening in Papua. “Conflict in Papua could be clarified in comprehensive way to the public through the information conveyed by journalists,” he said.
He also said besides the campaign to open the access for foreign journalists to Papua, lobbying the related stakeholders is also crucial in order to clarify the regulation for foreign journalist. “Here we can see the real problem is the vague regulation,” he firmly said.
The UN General Assembly proclaimed the Word Press Freedom Day in 1993 following the recommendations of the press freedom that was adopted in the 26th UNESCO General Conference in 1991. Both recommendation and conference were also to response the African journalists’ expression in 1991 which resulted the Windhoek Declaration that contains about the principles of pluralism and independence of the media. (Arnold Belau/rom)

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