Tuesday, October 25, 2016

1) 40 candidate pairs pass selection for Papua regional elections

2) Government still lacks in protection of rights activists
1) 40 candidate pairs pass selection for Papua regional elections
Nethy Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post
Jayapura, Papua | Tue, October 25, 2016 | 04:15 pm
The Papua General Elections Commission (KPUD Papua) has approved 40 out of 45 candidate pairs that registered on Sept.25 to run for public office during the simultaneous regional elections in 11 regencies and municipalities across the province on Feb.15, 2017.
Five candidate pairs were declared ineligible due to various reasons, such as inadequate political party support and late wealth report (LHKPN) submissions. It was also reported that one candidate pair running on an independent ticket failed to submit its second vote pledge support evidence to KPUD Papua.
Candidate pair John Tabo-Barnabas Weya from Tolikara regency was deemed ineligible due to inadequate political party support.
“While it supported John-Barnabas, the United Development Party (PPP) also supported candidate pair Usman Wanimbo-Dinus Wanimbo. As the KPUD Tolikara’s factual verification results gave legal support to Usman-Dinus, the candidacy of John and his running mate was deemed ineligible because they were supported by only five seats on the Tolikara Legislative Council. They comprise two seats from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle [PDI-P], two from the Hanura Party and one from the Golkar Party, lower than the minimum requirement of seven seats,” said KPUD Papua commissioner Tarwinto.
Tarwinto said incumbent candidate pair Stefanus Kaisma - Mustafa Salam from Mappi regency had been deemed ineligible because it was late to submit its LHKPN. “Thus, there will be only three candidate pairs running in next year’s election.” 
Three other candidate pairs deemed ineligible are incumbent candidate pair Mesak Manibor- Soleh from Sarmi regency, incumbent candidate pair Herman Awue - Stefanus Wakey from Dogiyai regency and candidate pair Abisai Rollo- Dipo Wibowo from Jayapura. (ebf)
2) Government still lacks in protection of rights activists
Jakarta | Tue, October 25 2016 | 08:40 am

Rights activists have urged the government to increase the protection of rights defenders amid mounting violence against them.

Activists of the Indonesian Forum for Environment (Walhi), Protection International (PI) and Arus Pelangi said their fellow activists across the country had experienced various abuses when fighting for people’s rights.

“Activists are always abused because they are at the forefront of human rights conflicts, so the opposing side always wants to shut them down,” PI activist Cahyadi told The Jakarta Post, adding the government should protect activists.

However, according to a survey from the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the UK-based University of York, the government is the most common violator against human rights activists. The survey stated that the “government” included the police, the military and regional government officers.

Companies, particularly those related to environment and labor rights issues, come second, while fundamental religious organizations rank third, according to the survey.

The survey was conducted earlier this year on 87 human rights activists of various issues like the environment, LGBTs, women’s rights and religious freedom. The activists originated from Jakarta, Surabaya, Ambon, Aceh, Palu and Manokwari.

The survey also found that activists received various types of abuse, most commonly threats through phone calls and text messages. They also experienced assault, became subject to investigations and criminal charges and faced defamation in the media. As many as 90 percent of the respondents said they were worried about their safety.

Protection of activists is recognized in the United Nation’s 1998 Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. The protection of privacy rights also appears in several laws, including Article 32 of Law No. 39/1999 on human rights.

The laws recognize the legitimacy of human rights activities and that those who carry it out have to be protected.

Many expected President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to suppress violence in his two years of rule, but activists recently said that he had failed to do so, highlighting the growing violence that the President had been unable to manage.

Kontras coordinator Haris Azhar said human rights could not be enforced in Indonesia if Jokowi still gave strategic positions to people who had been involved in human rights violations.

“The violations against human rights increased in Jokowi’s era,” he said earlier this year as quoted by tribunnews.com.

Haris said that Kontras recorded at least 300 human rights violations in 2015, higher than the previous year, or when former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was still in office.

Walhi activist Khalisah Khalid cited two human rights defenders, Salim Kancil and Yanes Balubun, who were allegedly assassinated in the past year.

In September last year, Salim was beaten to death by a group of people in Selok Awar-Awar subdistrict, Pasirian district, East Java. Salim had co-arranged a protest against invasive sand-mining in his village, which was conducted by companies.

Meanwhile, Yanes was a coordinator for the Ambon-based environmental group Humanum and the Indigenous Peoples Alliance. He passed away in April after a vehicle accident, but fellow activists argued that Yanes’ death was premeditated by parties that opposed his stance in Maluku. (adt)

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