Sunday, April 17, 2016

1) HRW urges EU to greet Jokowi with a message about rights

2) Freeport employee dies on Carstensz Peak
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1) HRW urges EU to greet Jokowi with a message about rights
Elly Bahraini Faizal Writer/Editor
Posted: Sun, April 17 2016 | 02:54 pm

Human Rights Watch (HRW) deputy Asia director Phelim Kine has said the critical issue of human rights should not get lost in the diplomatic mix during the visit of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to Europe next week.
Kine said that human rights abuses, past and present, remained a serious problem in Indonesia, impacting victims’ families, women and ethnic, religious and sexual minorities. Jokowi’s interlocutors in Europe needed to keep these issues front and center in their meetings, he said.
“That includes expressing support for the Indonesian government’s tentative first steps toward accountability for the mass killings of 1965 and 1966 that claimed at least 500,000 lives,” Kine said.
“A government-supported symposium on April 18 may seem unremarkable, but it’s an act of political courage that European leaders should praise.”
President Jokowi is set to discuss trade ties and intelligence sharing with European Union officials and his counterparts in Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK during the visit.
Kine went on to say that Indonesian women were counting on European leaders to express their outrage at the government’s failure to stop the abusive “virginity tests” women are forced to undergo when applying to the National Police and Indonesian Military. Dozens of political prisoners, mostly peaceful activists from Papua and the Moluccas, also needed European leaders to tell Jokowi that they were not forgotten despite their long imprisonment, he added.
The rights activist said European leaders should speak out for sexual and religious minorities who were vulnerable to local-level threats and violence. “Government officials have recently jumped on the Islamist bandwagon to make increasingly hostile remarks against Indonesia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) population,” he said.
According to the HRW, public rhetoric against Indonesia’s religious minorities, including the Ahmadiyah, Shia and some Christian congregations, has for a number of years been accompanied by serious violence against these communities.
“Jokowi may be following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, by failing to protect religious minorities from Islamist and other militant groups,” said Kine.
He said Jokowi also needed to hear the concerns of European leaders about the Indonesian government’s tight grip on the access of foreign media, academics, and nongovernmental organizations to the country’s easternmost island of Papua. “These restrictions defy Jokowi’s May 2015 declaration that Papua was now open to foreign media.”
Kine said the measure of success of Jokowi’s European trip would be its balance of meaningful engagement on human rights issues with discussions on economic and security ties. (ebf)


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2) Freeport employee dies on Carstensz Peak

Nether Dharma Somba Posted: Sun, April 17 2016 | 09:38 pm
Erik Airlangga, a Freeport Indonesia employee, has died, most-likely from hypothermia, on Carstensz Peak, Papua, after he and his climbing group members were caught in extreme weather, a police officer has said.
“One climber died on the Carstensz Pyramid trail. His body has been flown to Tasikmalaya, West Java,” said Tembagapura Police chief First Insp. Hasmulyadi in Timika, on Sunday.
Erika was one of 30 Freeport employees who took part in the Carstensz climb to celebrate the company’s anniversary and to commemorate this year’s Kartini Day. “In their descent from the summit, they were suddenly caught in extreme weather. Erik, who was the climbing guide, suffered from hypothermia. He died as other climbers tried to bring him to Tembagapura Hospital,” said Hasmulyadi.
Erik is a Freeport worker employed in the geotech division at the company’s Big Gossan mining area. “He was given medical treatment by Freeport’s emergency unit but could not be saved,” Hasmulyadi said. He added that other climbers had been taken to Tembagapura Hospital in Mimika, Papua.
Erik’s body was flown from Timika to Tasikmalaya on a Garuda Indonesia flight on Sunday.
US-based gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) said in a press statement that information about Erik’s death was received by the company’s command center on Sunday.
Erik and other climbers in the PTFI climbing group, which comprised 32 people, began their trip to Carstensz on April 14.
“He was given emergency treatment from PTFI’s Emergency preparedness and response team, which also participated in the climbing. His body was flown from Tembagapura Hospital to Jakarta before being taken to his hometown, Tasikmalaya, West Java, at noon on Sunday,” said PTFI corporate communications vice president Riza Pratama.
Riza said an investigation into the incident was being conducted by security authorities, adding that the PTFI team had also assisted in the process of returning Erik’s body to his hometown, as well as helping with his burial. (elf)
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