Tuesday, May 10, 2016

1) Papuan allegedly poisoned for supporting Port Vila conference

2) RSF tells Indonesia to stop flouting journalists’ rights in Papua
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1) Papuan allegedly poisoned for supporting Port Vila conference
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2016 8:00 am
By Len Garae 



By Len Garae                                                             Peter and Allan
Executive Officer Peter Arndt (left) shakes hands with Chairman of Vanuatu Free West Papua Association, Pastor Allan Nafuki who launches Commission's Report


A West Papuan businessman who donated a very large sum of money towards the West Papua Reconciliation Conference hosted in Port Vila from November 30 to December 6 of 2014, which resulted in the formation of the United Liberation Movement of West Papua, died in unexplained circumstances and was suspected by his people to have been poisoned by the Indonesian Military.
• A West Timorese Catholic priest, Father Amadus Fahik, who had served in Paniai since 1996, died in November 2015. He had attracted the attention of Indonesian security forces because he constantly encouraged the Papuan people to protect their land. Many Papuans believe he was poisoned by members of the security forces.
• In the months leading up to the Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders Meeting in Honiara in June 2015, police arrested over 500 Papuans who participated in public demonstrations of support in different towns in Papua. They were showing their support for the ULMWP’s bid for membership of the MSG. Some were convicted of offences and jailed.
• On March 19, a clash erupted between police and hundreds of young Papuans who had gathered in Dekai, the capital of Yahukimo regency, to show support for the formation of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and to raise money for cyclone relief in Vanuatu. One was killed and Intel Senegil, 16, was wounded by the shooting. Meanwhile three young men, Elkius Kobak, 23, Putih Bahabol, 28, and Era Kobak, 26, were arrested and detained by the police.
In a separate arrest of two young men for supporting the call for full membership of ULMWP, they were tortured and had their thumb nails removed then charged with offences, convicted and jailed.
These are four examples of many, many more brutalities that continue to be carried out by Indonesian security forces against the Melanesians of West Papua especially now after the ULMWP’s urgent call for full membership to MSG and a cancellation of Indonesia from the Sub Regional Organisation.
The question has to be raised as to whether Indonesia still deserves a seat in the MSG.
With a population of about 7.5 million Catholics in Indonesia, the church made a breakthrough with its Justice and Peace Commission in February of this year, by entering restricted areas of West Papua where it confirmed continuing human rights violations of Melanesians through wanton arrests, torture, killings, intimidation and suspected poisoning by the Indonesian military.
In its report called “‘We will lose everything’ – A report on a human rights fact finding mission to West Papua”, it made it clear that statistics from as recent as the first quarter of this year, have shown an increased rate of human rights abuse against Papuans especially in the lead up to the imminent Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders Summit in Port Vila.
(To be continued in next issue)
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2) RSF tells Indonesia to stop flouting journalists’ rights in Papua
  

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called on Indonesia’s authorities to stop violating the rights of journalists in West Papua, where the Jayapura police prevented reporters from covering a peaceful demonstration in support of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua on May 2- the eve of World Press Freedom Day.
The authorities must respect the rights of journalists to freely report events in West Papua (the western half of the island of New Guinea) even when journalists are covering protests by the Papuan population, RSF said in a statement.
After hundreds of protesters were arrested in various parts of the city, they were assembled in a compound in front of the police mobile brigade headquarters in Kotaraja, Jayapura, from which reporters who wanted to cover their arrest were driven back by about 20 policemen wielding wooden batons.
One of them said Police Commissioner Mathius Fakhiri had given them specific instructions to prevent reporters from covering how the police were treating the detainees, who were ordered to remove their clothes and shoes while standing in the square.
Ardi Bayage, a journalist working for the Suarapapua.com news website, was arrested at the same time as other protesters although he showed his press card to the police. They authorities, who accused him of lying, broke his mobile phone and took him to the mobile brigade’s headquarters, where he was held for several hours.
Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk, said:
WE CONDEMN THIS VIOLENCE AND CENSORSHIP OF LOCAL JOURNALISTS, WHOSE COVERAGE OF THESE DEMONSTRATIONS WAS IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST.

“PRESIDENT JOKO WIDODO’S PROMISES NOW SOUND EMPTIER THAT EVER. AFTER THE RECENT BANNING OF A FRENCH JOURNALIST WHO HAD BEEN REPORTING IN WEST PAPUA IN A COMPLETELY LEGAL MANNER, WE NOW HAVE YET FURTHER EVIDENCE THAT THE AUTHORITIES CONTINUE TO CENSOR AND CONTROL MEDIA COVERAGE ARBITRARILY.
The West Papuan authorities are still censoring all reporters covering Papuan self-determination movements, and carrying out discrimination and human rights violations.
In January, RSF condemned Indonesia’s ban on further visits by French journalist Cyril Payen,after France 24 broadcast a report by him from West Papua.
The authorities also target local journalists and fixers working for foreign journalists and those who act as their sources.
Abeth You, a journalist working for the Tabloidjubi.com website, was attacked by police on 8 October 2015 while covering a demonstration in Jayapura by a group called Solidarity for Victims of Human Rights Violations in Papua. Police arrested and questioned two fixers working for a French journalist.
Indonesia is ranked 130th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index after its performance score fell by nearly a point from 2015.
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