Wednesday, September 3, 2014

1) Pacific Churches to raise West Papua with regional governments

1) Pacific Churches to raise West Papua with regional governments
2) Asia media groups urge Indonesia to free journalists
3) Rights groups hopeful on calls to free journos in Papua
4) LP3BH calls on Lawyers Association to defend Gustav Kawer
5) West Papuan Independence Leader Found Floating In Sack At Sea


1) Pacific Churches to raise West Papua with regional governments

Posted 3 September 2014, 15:44 AEST

The Pacific Council of Churches is ramping up its campaign to put the issue of self-determination for West Papuans on the international agenda.
Speaking at a gathering of churches and NGOs in Madang in Papua New Guinea, PCC general secretary Reverend Francois Pihaate said they want their member churches to pressure regional governments to raise the issue internationally.
Murray Isimeli, the PCC's desk officer for self-determination, says there's a real groundswell on this issue's significance from all across the Pacific.
Presenter: Bruce Hill
Speaker: Murray Isimeli, the Pacific Council of Churches

2) Asia media groups urge Indonesia to free journalists

Updated at 1:48 pm on 3 September 2014

Asian media organisations have urged the Indonesian government to immediately release two French journalists who have spent a month in jail in Papua.
Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat face up to five years in jail and 42,000 US dollar fines, after being accused of breaching their tourist visas by practising journalism.
The Philippine Centre for Investigative Journalism reports the Southeast Asian Press Alliance has decried the continued detention of the pair, who were filming a documentary for the French-German TV network Arte.
Foreign journalists covering Papua are routinely barred from entering by the Indonesian government.
The authorities also seized their video footage, audio recordings and phones.
Papua's provincial police have accused the two of supporting separatists, saying they will prove they are not journalists.
The immigration chief in Jayapura, Gardu Ditiro Tampubolon, says there is strong evidence against the pair

3) Rights groups hopeful on calls to free journos in Papua

Updated at 9:25 pm on 3 September 2014

Regional rights groups are hoping they can convince Indonesian authorities to free two French journalists in Papua province.
The journalists, who were making a documentary on the West Papuan independence movement, have been in custody for a month on immigration charges. A local leader who had met with them is also being held on charges of rebellion.
Asian media organisations have urged the government to immediately release the journalists.
Amnesty International says restrictions on freedom of expression must end, and all prisoners of conscience must be immediately and unconditionally released.
Amnesty Campaigner Josef Benedict says he's hopeful their calls will be heeded.
"The Indonesian government want to play a major role in the region. They want to be seen to be a country which respects human rights. They've taken the lead on many human rights issues in the region, particularly within the ASEAN movement. So it actually does a disservice to them when they take on or act in this manner in the Papuan region."
Josef Benedict.
4) LP3BH calls on Lawyers Association to defend Gustav Kawer
From the Institute for Research, Study and Development of Legal Aid
[LP3BH], 2 September, 2014

  The  Chief of Police of Papua has just sent a summons to the lawyer, Gustav Kawer who will be formally charged for criticising a
government official. This is a serious matter and should be considered as such by the Association of Indonesian Lawyers - Peradi - which
should fully support him and take action on his behalf in accordance with Articles 211 and 212 of the Law on Criminal Procedures.
Speaking as a senior lawyer and defender of Basic Human Rights, I strongly condemn the officers of the State Court of Procedural Affairs
(PTUN) - Jayapura who reported the incident, as a result of which the police issued a summons to Gustav Kawer.

The Court is well aware of Gustav Kawer's official status as provided in law which is referred to as 'Catur Wangsa''
 As lawyers, we  strongly object to the action by a judge  or a court official. In the first place, we direct our attention to the
internal scrutiny of the court  or to the various professional organisations of lawyers such as Peradi, or the Indonesian Association
of Judges - IKAHI.  Moreover, whenever a prosecutor or a member of the police force
acts in violation of their professional status, the matter should first be considered by their professional bodies, by the special
division of the police [Propam POLRI] or by Indonesia Police Watch before being presented as a summons for court action.
If Gustav Kawer is deemed to have violated the ethics of his profession, the matter should first be taken to the Honorary Council
of Lawyers of Peradi of which Gustav Kawer is himself a member.

5) West Papuan Independence Leader Found Floating In Sack At Sea

By Amy McQuire

The Indonesian security forces have been accused of the murder of another pro-independence West Papuan leader. Amy McQuire reports.
A West Papuan pro-independence activist has been found dead less than a week after he went missing in the lead-up to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s visit to the region.
The body of Martinus Yohame was found in a sack floating in the sea near the city of Sorong, West Papua on August 26. He went missing on August 20. Yohame was head of the local Sorong branch of the pro-independence group the West Papua National Committee (KNPB).
Amnesty International said the disappearance had coincided with the detention of another political activist just prior to President Yudhoyono’s attendance at a sailing event in Sorong.
Yohame had reportedly staged a press conference in Sorong the day before he disappeared, opposing the President’s visit and raising the issue of illegal logging.
The KNPB were reportedly planning demonstrations, including the raising of the banned “Morning Star” flag, an act which has seen activists jailed by the Indonesian government.
Amnesty International has condemned Indonesia, saying the attack “highlights the repressive environment faced by political activists and journalists in the area and the rights violations by the security forces there”.
It also follows the arrest of two school students earlier this month for painting pro-independence graffiti.
Robert Yelemaken, 16 and Oni Wea, 21, were reportedly beaten by the arresting police officers. Amnesty International reports they were forced to roll in dirty water and drink paint.
Yelemaken has been released but Wea is still incarcerated and facing charges of “incitement”.
The fate of two French journalists who were arrested earlier this month whilst allegedly in the company of separatists is also uncertain.
They may be charged with espionage, despite the international Reporters Without Borders stressing they were in West Papua to report on the economic and social problems faced by Indigenous people under Indonesian rule.
International journalists are prohibited from reporting in West Papua, and local journalists are intimidated from reporting on independence sentiment.
Amnesty International called on the President-elect Joki Widodo to ensure freedom of expression in the country, by amending the Criminal Code to bring it in line with the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and Indonesia's own Constitution.
Human Rights Watch has also called on the incoming President to release political prisoners and allow human rights organisations access to the region.
“In Papua, the failure of Indonesia’s security forces to distinguish between violent acts and peaceful protests has contributed to rising tensions and insecurity in the province,” a statement from Human Rights Watch said.
“Human Rights Watch urged Widodo to order the immediate and unconditional release of everyone imprisoned for the peaceful exercising of their political views, and to permit foreign journalists and human rights organizations unimpeded access to the province.”
Indonesia has had control over the province since the withdrawal of the Dutch in the 60s, and the passing of the controversial “Act of Free Choice” in 1969.

He should first be questioned by members of his professional association and if he is believed to have violated the association's
code of ethics, he should be charged in accordance with Law 18/2003 on Legal Professionals.

The police summons sent to Gustav Kawer is in violation of Articles 6 and 7 and  Articles 12, 13, 14, 15  and 16 of Law 18/2003.
  This violation must not be allowed to proceed as it violations the principles of the legal profession as defined in accordance with
Officium Nobile.  The police chief and all his subordinates should be well aware of their professional standing and also of the rights of a lawyer who has
taken action to protect his client  and protect basic human rights in Indonesia.
 As a senior lawyer in the Land of Papua, I call on all associations in the legal domain such as Peradi, Peradin, Ikadin, the Congress of
Indonesian Lawyers [KAI] as well as the Institute for Legal Advice [IPHI} to take action in defence of Gustav Kawer who is acting in
accordance with the norms of his profession. All members of the legal profession should act against discriminatory  measures that question
any action that has been taken by a lawyer who is acting in accordance with the principles of his profession.
  I firmly believe that international legal associations whose duty it is to uphold the rule of law will submit complaints to Jakarta
regarding the Gustav Kawer case, bearing in mind that Indonesia is the third largest democracy in the world where we are all struggling to
uphold  the supremacy of law.  This is an extremely important matter for Gustav Kawer, a young
lawyer in the Land of Papua who has already defended numerous cases of human rights violations and who recently received international
recognition or his work
[Translated by Carmel Budiard

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