Friday, August 11, 2017

1) Poverty, land rights feature at film festival in Indonesia's Papua


1) Poverty, land rights feature at film festival in Indonesia's Papua

Jessica Damiana

August  11, 2017 / 8:26 PM / 10 HOURS AGO

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia's easternmost province of Papua hosted its first independent film festival this week, showing documentaries on social issues such as land rights and grinding poverty, but steering clear of the highly sensitive subject of separatism. 
The festival, hosted by a local filmmakers' community, screened 10 amateur documentaries in the town of Merauke on Aug. 7-9. The organizer said the festival attracted 600 people. 
The organizers, Papuan Voices, said the festival aimed to show "a new perspective that places Papua as a subject in seeing and determining its own future and contributing to ending the injustice in the land of Papua".

Papua is one of the poorest regions in Indonesia despite being rich in resources like natural gas, copper and gold. 
It has suffered an often violent separatist conflict since it was incorporated into Indonesia after a widely criticized U.N.-backed referendum in 1969. Dutch colonial rule ended in 1963. 
Organizer Urbanus Kiaf said by telephone that all the films were passed by Indonesia's censorship board without being cut or censored, but plain-clothed police attended some screenings. 
"They asked for explanations of what the story was for each of the films and they asked for a list of names of the organizing committee, but otherwise they just watched," he said.
Kiaf said the poverty shown in the films was a symbol of "economic and intellectual oppression" and how Papuans often lacked land rights, after selling to investors cheaply.
One example was the film that won third place.
Director Elisabet Apyaka said her film, "For Novalinda and Andreas", showed how a single mother had raised her two children by selling taro, banana and betel on a small patch of rented land. 
"This shows that Papuan women are the head of families here, they get up early to do house chores, work in their garden and feed their kids," Apyaka said. 
The fact that the festival went ahead was a sign of progress in Indonesian President Joko Widodo's efforts to open up Papua, said Human Rights Watch's researcher Andreas Harsono, adding that it would have been banned in the past. 
Widodo has given clemency to a number of political prisoners in Papua who were unfairly prosecuted and imprisoned for exercising their rights of freedom of expression, Harsono said. 
However, a report by the International Coalition for Papua said there was a significant aggravation of Papua's human rights in 2015 and 2016. 
Rights groups also recently accused police of lethal force on people protesting against a construction company, by shooting dead one person and wounding 16. 
Additional reporting and writing by Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Ed Davies and Nick Macfie

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2) Ministers tight-lipped on Freeport meeting

Jakarta | Fri, August 11, 2017 | 01:17 pm
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati and Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan met on Thursday to discuss ongoing negotiations between the government and Freeport Indonesia, however no further information about the meeting was disclosed.
The government and Freeport have been discussing a number of issues related to the conversion of Freeport’s contract of work to a special mining license.
The Finance Ministry’s fiscal policy head, Suahasil Nazara, refused to provide information after exiting the meeting.  
While rushing to his car, the energy ministry's mineral and coal director general, Bambang Gatot Ariyono said, “Nothing new came up during the meeting.”
Read also: Freeport yet to extend operating permit: Ministry
Earlier in the day, Suahasil said four issues were to be discussed with Freeport; operational continuity, smelter development, state revenue and divestment. The issues have been discussed for months between representatives of the government and the copper and gold miner in Papau.
During his visit to the United States in late July, Jonan said Freeport McMoRan CEO Richard Adkerson had requested a meeting with Sri Mulyani to discuss investment certainty in the country. (dea/mrc/bbn)

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3) Kontras records rampant abuse by police officers

Jakarta | Wed, August 9, 2017 | 06:30 pm
The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) recorded 115 cases of physical abuse allegedly committed by police personnel against civilians over a period of 11 months.
“The highest number of cases of abuse committed by police officers is at the level of police precincts,” Kontras researcher Ananto Setiawan said as quoted by kompas.com in a press conference on Wednesday.
Kontras reported that at least 88 cases of abuse took place in police precincts across Indonesia from the period of June 2016 to May 2017.
At least 20 cases occurred at sub-precinct police offices and eight at the provincial police level, he added.
Ananto went on to say that most cases of physical abuse occurred during the interrogation of suspected criminals.
He said police officers often argued they needed to use physical force to extract information or make suspects admit their crimes.
“In fact it's possible that in many cases they [the suspects] did not commit crimes but were forced to admit to them,” Ananto said.
The researcher said it often happened that police officers bribed the victims or their families after committing the abuse.
In some cases, the responsible officers simply ignored the victims, Ananto said, adding that many officers were still able to evade sanctions despite committing abuse. (afr/ebf)

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