Monday, May 11, 2015

1) Rights group welcomes Papua media ban lifting

2) Papua now open for int’l  media
3) WEST PAPUA: Region 'still dangerous' for journalists,  warns independent WPM

4) President Jokowi attends grand harvest in Merauke

5) President Asked to Release Papuan Political Prisoners


1) Rights group welcomes Papua media ban lifting
Updated at 1:48 pm today
A New Zealand-based rights group has welcomed the Indonesian President's latest promise to open up West Papua to foreign media.
West Papua Action Auckland says President Joko Widodo's vow, while visiting Papua on the weekend, is a hopeful sign that the rigid repression of the provinces by Indonesia could be softening.
Jokowi also released five political prisoners, who had been jailed since 2003.
The group says there are many other political prisoners, including Filep Karma, who was jailed for 15 years for taking part in an event when the independence Morning Star flag was raised.
West Papua Action Auckland says many prisoners will never accept 'clemency' because it involves accepting guilt for actions that are the free expression of political aspirations.
The group is calling on Jokowi to expand the prisoner release project to include a full amnesty for all political prisoners.
West Papua Action Auckland's Maire Leadbeater says one of the biggest problems for West Papua was being shut away from the outside world and its Pacific neighbours.
"If people understand what's happening in West Papua, and they understand that the people there don't have full freedoms and their human rights are abused, then they engage with the issue more strongly, and they press their governments to engage with the issue, and I think we can start to hope for change in West Papua."
Maire Leadbeater says she's hoping media in New Zealand will now take the opportunity to visit West Papua freely, as the President has promised.


2) Papua now open for int’l  media
Ina Parlina, The Jakarta Post, Merauke | Headlines | Mon, May 11 2015, 1:01 PM -

In a bold move to fulfill his campaign pledge, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo opened access for foreign journalists and international organizations to enter Papua and West Papua. The move was immediately welcomed by journalism associations at home.

“Foreign journalists, as of today, are allowed to enter Papua as freely as they enter other provinces [in the country],” Jokowi said on the sidelines his visit to attend a harvest ceremony in Merauke, Papua, on Sunday.

During his presidential campaign last June, Jokowi pledged, if he was elected, to remove restrictions barring foreign journalists and international organizations from entering Papua and West Papua. At that time, Jokowi argued there was nothing to hide in Papua and that Papua was safe.

On Saturday, the President granted clemency to five Papuan political prisoners and said that the government wanted all parties to build Papua together using a new approach focused on welfare and development.

Jokowi has also ordered the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Police to stop using repressive security approaches in Papua, saying the two forces could instead teach children in schools, or build roads in the border areas in Papua. Engaging in dialogue with the Papuan people, Jokowi said, was one of the key measures to build mutual trust.

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno said the police and military were ready to adopt a welfare and development approach in Papua.

“No, [I’m not worried] since now [we are] using no longer a security approach, but a welfare and development approach,” he said.

However, Jokowi refused to comment on the Paniai shooting incident last December in which five civilians were killed.

Tedjo responded that the Paniai incident would be resolved. “The spirit is to resolve complicated past problems so that we can move on and work together to build the country.”

Cabinet Secretary Andi Widjajanto said foreign journalists no longer had to request special permission from the Foreign Ministry to report on Papua. “This will be just the same as making news reports in other regions.”

For the past decade, journalists intending to report on Papua had to fill out permission request forms, which needed approvals from various government institutions. Any foreign journalists caught making news reports without permits could have faced criminal charges.

In 2014, French journalists Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat were arrested and jailed for not having the proper permits to report in Papua. The journalists were caught trying to make a documentary on a Papuan separatist movement.

The Indonesian Press Council responded to Jokowi’s move, saying it showed “a good political will” on the part of his administration.

“We appreciated the ‘political will’ by the government to be transparent to the international community. We urge related parties, such as immigration and the police, to follow up [on the president’s order] right away,” Nezar Patria of the Press Council said on Sunday.

He encouraged foreign journalists to make use of the new policy by reporting balanced information on Papua internationally. 

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) also expressed appreciation for the new policy.

“The President’s announcement is most welcome, albeit overdue. Those who are concerned about events in Papua and keen to follow its development can at least be reassured that a free media will be able to report there,” the IFJ’s Jim Nolan said.

The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) appreciated the decision, but reminded Jokowi to fulfill his promise. (saf) -


3) WEST PAPUA: Region 'still dangerous' for journalists, warns independent WPM

Monday, May 11, 2015
Item: 9266
SYDNEY (West Papua Media/Pacific Media Watch): EDITORIAL: West Papua Media is greatly concerned that the statements made on May 9 by Indonesian President Joko (Jokowi) Widodo in Jayapura regarding the ending of the foreign media ban for journalists to visit West Papua, is not being given due diligence by foreign media.
WPM reminds all foreign media workers that West Papua is and still remains an incredibly dangerous place for journalists to report, and present an even greater threat to the safety of all journalism sources.
A full analysis of the actuality of the so-called “lifting” of the foreign media ban in West Papua will be released by West Papua Media’s team in the coming days, including analysis from our clandestine journalists who operate daily in the reality of the Papuan media environment, under threat constantly from Indonesian security forces.
This statement was made in the context of the president travelling the following day to Papua New Guinea in a bid to quash Melanesian support for West Papuan aspirations for self-determination, specifically the West Papuan bid to be granted observer status at the upcoming Melanesian Spearhead Group meetings
Despite Jokowi’s graceful and well executed "Juru Bicara” (Straight Talking) image, the reality on the ground in West Papua is that he has little control over the actions of security forces.

In West Papua, journalists, media workers, fixers and sources are routinely denied access, harassed, surveilled physically and electronically,, threatened, arrested, monstered, beaten, "disappeared" and even murdered by all the various organs of Indonesian colonial control in West Papua, with a list of perpetrators including (but not limited to) police, Australian-trained Detachment 88 anti-terror commandos, military, National Intelligence Body (BIN), military intelligence, police intelligence, Kopassus special forces, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, forestry officials, customs, immigration, mining officials, Indonesian bureaucrats, pro-Jakarta transmigrant militias, and the ever-present Ojek (motorbike taxi) riders / intelligence officers.
Lowest point
The media freedom status in West Papua reached its lowest point in 2011, due to a series of murders, stabbings and disappearances of journalists across West Papua  This situation that prompted Reporters Without Borders to rank Indonesia at 146th out of 180 in the World Press Freedom Index, only climbing to 139th place for 2014, due to international monitoring led by West Papua Media and our network partners in West Papua.
This lifting of the foreign media ban is completely without power or credibility until both a formal Presidential Instruction is made, together with the passing of a national law that is enforced and penalises anyone who prevents free, full and unfettered access for ALL media workers in Papua.
Jokowi’s real attitude is telling, however.  Just a few hours later in Merauke, he wasquoted in Antara with his real attitude to “media freedom” in West Papua.

“Don’t ask that question, that’s enough,” Antara quoted Jokowi saying when he was asked about a fact that usually foreign journalists prefer to cover activities of illegal armed groups.
Operating in West Papua for journalists will remain an extremely dangerous activity.  Even though it is unlikely a foreign journalist will be physically harmed it is not unknown.  Foreign journalists have been beaten, poisoned, interrogated, and some have died in highly suspicious circumstances in the past.
However, it is journalists’ sources that are most at risk, especially if communications and data are left unsecured.  All journalists have an unbreakable ethical duty to ensure the safety of sources, and without specific technologies used.

Safe Witness
West Papua Media has a suite of digital and practical technologies developed from our Safe Witness Journalism training units, and we also can provide secure handsets for journalists travelling to West Papua.

West Papua Media also can provide an unparalleled secure fixing service that ensures foreign journalists are fully briefed to the security situation in all parts of Papua, and to be able to report without putting any sources at risk.
Last August, one person died, many went into hiding, and 5 were arrested due to unsecured data, notes, emails and phone calls allegedly held by the two French journalists arrested in Wamena in August, against the express guarantees on source security given to West Papua Media.
Only journalists can prevent their sources being put in danger.  Make no mistake, Indonesian occupation forces will harm journalists’ sources and journalists seeking to report on human rights abuses and violations of freedom of expression.

We suggest all journalists seeking to report on Papua read our Source Protection Policy for more information, and contact us to arrange training for full data and communications security for mobile journalism.

WPM also offers the only civil resistance coverage media safety training available, which we can arrange for a  reasonable cost.
However, WPM remains sceptical on the latest claims of lifting the foreign media ban.  There have been too many previous claims that this will end, including several by Jokowi himself. Let’s wait and see how and if the security forces even listen to their president.
Minimum tests
There are some minimum tests that will prove if the media ban is lifted in Papua:
- Will the most outspoken foreign journalists be allowed to report from West Papua with full media freedom and access?
- A large number of independent and mainstream Journalists who have previously reported inside West Papua have been threatened and banned from WP by security forces – will our bans be lifted?
- Journalists who seek to report on topics opposed by government or security forces must be allowed full and free access without let, danger or hindrance from security forces.
- One of the WPM editors still have outstanding arrest warrants on Makar (Treason and Subversion), Destabilisation and Espionage charges for legitimate journalism activities – charges that need to be rescinded immediately;
- the assassination threats on all sources and journalists, including WPM staff, need to be ended, and those making them arrested;
- all DPO (Daftar Pencarian Orang – or Wanted Persons list) listings on all media workers in Papua must be cancelled;
all journalists must be allowed free and unfettered access across Papua and West Papua without intelligence agencies, police or military harassment, surveillance (physical or electronic) or intimidation of journalists, witnesses, sources, fixers and assistants or their families;
- and of course, free and unfettered access to ALL areas of Papua, including mining, forestry and resource extraction areas, prisons, and military operations areas .
To reiterate, until these minimum conditions are guaranteed by an actual InPres (Presidential Instruction) in law, with penalties enforced for any official that prevents or ignores it, then this is just an utterance.
Clear undertaking
Nevertheless, Jokowi did say it, he was interviewed about it, and this was the statement that was made. Whether or not it is really enacted doesn’t take away from the fact that here is a clear undertaking.
Of course, letting in foreign journalists who don’t believe the hype, who are currently on charge or banned from West Papua by Indonesia will be the real test.
And making sure that the police and military answer critical questions when they kill civilians is part of that (including not hanging up on phone calls from WPM).  It is highly unlikely that the State Violence Forces are going to suddenly stop tailing and harming journalists, human rights defenders and media workers, unless they are arrested for it.
WPM will still operate with great scepticism the alleged lifting of the foreign media ban in West Papua, and about anything Jakarta (or any government) ever says: that is the job of journalism.

WPM will still need to operate clandestinely, and we will still need support to train and supply people for safe witness journalism.

Now more than ever, West Papua Media needs you support to train and supply independent clandestine journalists with the tools to safely report from the ground in West Papua.

It costs $3000 to support one journalist with secure and robust equipment for mobile newsgathering, $3000 to provide intensive Safe Witness Journalism training.  You can help by visiting this page to make a donation or longer term support.
This alleged end of the media ban is stage-managed and not at all genuine.

As far as we are concerned, the Papua Media Blackout remains firmly in place.
* West Papua Media and the Pacific Media Centre work in association and combined their resources to publish the Pacific Media Freedom 2011: A Status Report, the most comprehensive media freedom report produced in the South Pacific. It was published by both the Pacific Journalism Review research journal and the Pacific Journalism Monograph series.

4) President Jokowi attends grand harvest in Merauke

Minggu, 10 Mei 2015 16:49 WIB | 827 Views
Merauke (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) attended a grand harvest on rice fields measuring 300 hectares in Wapeko, Kurik Sub-district, Merauke District, Papua Province, on Sunday.

The grand harvest was conducted by using a combine harvester, and paddy planting was later carried out by using a paddy transplanter.

After using the two machines, President Jokowi, who was accompanied by First Lady Iriana Widodo, released Nila fingerlings in a drainage.

Before some 500 local farmers, the head of state said Merauke should become a food exporter in the future.

"Moreover, rice fields covering a total area of 1.2 million hectares are available at the initial stage," he said.

To boost the paddy production, the government has given paddy harvesting and planting machines to local farmers.


MONDAY, 11 MAY, 2015 | 13:04 WIB
5) President Asked to Release Papuan Political Prisoners
TEMPO.COAbepura – The five political prisoners who recently received clemencies from President Jokowi have appealed to the president to release the other 60 political prisoners in the province.
“We thank President Jokowi, but we’d like to ask that all political prisoners, including those from Maluku Islands, be released” said Linus Hulika, one of the freed prisoners, in a release Temporeceived on Monday, May 11, 2015.
Linus said the president came to Abepura Prison on May 9, 2015, accompanied by First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo, Justice and Human Rights Minister Yasonna H. Laoly and Papua Deputy Governor Klemen Tinal.
In his visit, the president met with the five inmates: Apotnalogolik Lokobal, Numbungga Telenggen, Kimanus Wenda, Linus Hiluka, dan Jefrai Murib. In the 15-minute conversation, the president told the prisoners he had granted the clemencies for them.
Linus said the president told him the clemencies were granted on the initiatives of the president himself, and that the president preferred clemencies as opposed to amnesties, which would require prior consent from the House of Representatives.
“He apologized for what security personnel had done to us for the past 12 years,” he said. 

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