Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Archipelago | Tue, March 31 2015, 9:45 PM -
Agustinus Tabuni, a 24-year-old local identified as a member of an armed criminal group led by Militer Murib, was shot dead when a number of Indonesian Military and National Police personnel conducted a patrol in Kampung Jenggernok, Gome district, Puncak Jaya, around 10 a.m. local time on Tuesday.
“A joint team comprising 30 police and military personnel led by Adj. Comr. Syahwal Halim was conducting a patrol in Kampung Gome when they spotted three people carrying Mauser and revolver rifles,” said Papua Police spokesperson Sr. Com. Rudolf Patrick in Jayapura on Tuesday.
“The team then pursued the three armed people. Two people fled while one suspect was shot as he attempted to shoot two police personnel involved in the patrol,” he went on.
Security personnel confiscated one revolver, 12 bullets with a caliber of 7.62 x 51 mm and two bullets with a caliber of 3.8 mm.
Rudolf said the Gome district head who was with the patrol managed to recognize the man that was shot.
“Both Gome district head and village officers joining the patrol confirmed that the dead victim was Agustinus Tabuni, a member of the Militer Murib group,” he said.
After the identification process, Agustinus was cremated in a procession held at the site of the incident, and witnessed by the Gome district head and village officers. (dyl/ebf)(++++)
A rally in Jakarta for the Free Papua Movement. Restricted media access to the Indonesian region has left the ongoing fight for secession under reported. (Reuters/Pius Erlangga)
With more than 50 years of restricted media access, one of the least covered armed conflicts in the world is the long-simmering struggle between Indonesia's military and the secessionist Free Papua Movement. Under Indonesia's seven successive post-independence governments--the early ones led by autocratic strongmen, the recent ones more or less democratically elected--the world has been deprived of details of the persistent low-intensity battle for autonomy playing out in the Papuan provinces.
Without open media access in the Papua and West Papua provinces, alleged abuses by security forces operating without media scrutiny will hound any bid by President Joko Widodo to bring peace and prosperity to the resource-rich region: apromise he made on assuming office in October.
Given Indonesia's experience in East Timor, it is no wonder successive Indonesian governments have restricted media access to its Papua and West Papua provinces. Unable to completely stifle media coverage of East Timor during a bloody 27-year war for independence that ended in 2002, Indonesia's leaders appear determined not to lose another part of its far-flung archipelago by having troublesome reporters, international or Indonesian, expose what is happening in Papua.
The vast Grasberg copper and gold mine in Papua. Journalists wanting to report on the mine and surrounding area say they have trouble getting visas. (Reuters/M Agung Rajasa/Antara Foto)
And there are discomfiting economic and social angles too: Restricted press coverage has meant little media scrutiny of Freeport-McMoRan Incorporated's Indonesian copper mine at Grasberg, the world's largest gold and second largest copper mine in the world. The American-owned company has long been Indonesia's top tax payer, and its remote operations in Papua have been targetedby insurgents and environmental groups. Journalists--including a BBC team who wanted to visit the mine in 2011 when reporting on strikes--often find access is denied.
Despite the wealth of its natural resources, Papua has historically fallen far behindin development compared to Indonesia's other regions, analysts say. The region's literacy rate is around 74 percent, Indonesia's lowest, and Papuans find themselves under increasing demographic pressure, too. Indonesia's in-country migration is coming close to making Papuans a minority in their traditional homeland. About 50 percent of the population in Papua and West Papua are from other parts of Indonesia, and the in-flow seems most likely to continue, analysts say.
Many things seem deeply amiss in Papua, and they are going unreported.
Because of the media restrictions, it is largely foreign journalists who get the international attention that comes with being detained and eventually shipped back home. An Australian academic, Ross Tapsell, in his book By-Lines, Balibo, Bali Bombings: Australian Journalists in Indonesia, published in January, has a large section on restrictions in Papua dating back to the 1960s. Indonesia continues to require international correspondents to secure special visas before entering the country, a practice CPJ has repeatedly (see here, here, and here for examples) urged the government to abandon after it was used to blacklist reporters under earlier, more authoritarian regimes.
Thomas Dandois, left, and Valentine Bourrat, center, arrive at a court in Indonesia's eastern Papua province in October 2014. The French journalists were expelled for breaching visa regulations. (AFP/STR)
The government seldom, if ever, issues permission to investigative journalists. "Eighteen ministries and related institution are involved in the process to issue a permit," according to the Foreign Ministry's director of information and media, Siti Sofia Sudarma. She was testifying at the October 2014 trial of the French documentary filmmakers Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat, who were convicted of breaking immigration laws by trying to film in Papua. The pair had been detained for almost three months before being expelled from the country after their conviction. Their trial coincided with President Widodo's election campaign, in which he promised to address Papua's problems.
Siti said that, according to the ministry's data, 28 international journalists had submitted permit requests to cover news in Papua and West Papua in 2013. She said 21 had been allowed to enter the two provinces. But Andreas Harsono, a Jakarta-based researcher for Human Rights Watch, told CPJ by email that those getting the permits are tourism writers or Japanese journalists covering the search for remains of soldiers killed during World War II. And such restrictions beg the question of what is so special about Papua and why journalists are allowed to cover other areas of Indonesia with little government interference. The restrictions go against Indonesia's 1999 Press Law, which says there should be no restrictions on journalists in Indonesia.
It is not just outsiders who have complaints about access to Papua. As we have reported over the years, Indonesian journalists are prey to a host of malevolent actors--from politicians and the military to religious hardliners and business owners. And unless they are native Papuans, Indonesia's journalists have an almost impossible time getting in to cover the story. As far back as 1999, CPJ noted that ethnic and communal violence in many parts of the country made local reporters' jobs increasingly dangerous. More recent assessments by groups including Human Rights Watch show the situation has deteriorated further despite pledges from successive governments to address the political confrontation.
President Joko Widodo, pictured second left in Aceh province in March. Before he was elected in 2014, Widodo said he would allow international journalists access to Papua. (AFP/Chaideer Mahyuddin)
There was a sense of optimism following Widodo's election. We called it a Window of opportunity to advance press freedom in Indonesia following a mission there in late 2014. But we noted steady pressure on media across the country. The 2008 Electronic Information and Transactions Law targets Web commentators with up to six years in prison, and up to IDR 1 billion ($80,800) in fines. Criminal defamation cases carry a nine-month jail term. And a worrisome state secrets bill, viewed by critics as a threat to freedom of information, remains under discussion. Nor has there has been movement to address impunity in the cases of 10 journalists confirmed to have been killed for their work since 1992. Eight of them appear to have been murdered, according to CPJ data. In such a context, it is realistic to view the president's pledge to allow international journalists and organizations access to Papua and West Papua with a high degree of skepticism until those restrictions are lifted, a promise that can be quickly and easily fulfilled.
Bob Dietz, coordinator of CPJ’s Asia Program, has reported across the continent for news outlets such as CNN and Asiaweek. He has led numerous CPJ missions, including ones to Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. Follow him on Twitter @cpjasia and Facebook @ CPJ Asia Desk.
Jayapura, Jubi – Lis Tabuni, a relative of two people who were allegedly assaulted by police officers in Pasar Cigombong Kotaraja, said this case must be taken to court for the sake of justice.
“I asked the authority to take this case into legal process because I want to find out why those officers did what they did to my brothers,” Tabuni told Jubi on Sunday (29/3/2015) by phone.
She further said she wanted this case to be processed because his brothers had no connection to the earlier incident but the officers stopped them and beat them.
“I want to say that up to now both Mobile Brigade and Papua Police Provost have not acted on this case although we have reported it. Actually to find out the perpetrators is very easy but it seems they are protecting their officers,” Tabuni said.
Meanwhile, the lawyer Olga Hamadi who covers this case said the suspected officers have been reported to the Papua Police Provost but have no response yet. “We want this case to be continue but until now there is no response from Papua Police Provost. However, we will find out other way because let the officers go would make them could act brutally as they wish. But we are still waiting for the response from two related institutions,” she told Jubi on Saturday (28/3/2015) in Waena.
As erlier reported by Jubi, the beating was triggered by a clash between Mobile Brigade officers and local residents in Abepura Mall. The officers then beat the four victims for wrongly accused because they have similar characteristic of highland-origin people. As the result, four boys namely Eldi Kogoya (18), Timotius Tabuni (18), Lesman Jigibalom, Mies Tabo (14) were injured and got bone fractures, some bruises as well as teeth lost because of beating, drugging and stubbing. Even Jigibalom needed a surgery because bayonet hit his lungs. (Jubi/Arnold Belau/rom)
Sorong, Jubi – West Papua Councilor Yonadap Trogea said since 2001 – 2014, the Central Government has disbursed 54 trillion rupiahs to both Papua and West Papua Provincial Government through the Autonomy Fund as reported by the Audit Board of the Republic of Indonesia to Indonesian Parliament on 8 July 2014.
However, he said, apparently it was not able to increase the welfare of Papuan people in education, health and infrastructure. “This failure was happened because the bureaucracy expenditure is higher than public expenses. As the result we have low Human Development Index in both provinces, it’s around 65%,” he said.
He further said the local governments in Papua should pay attention to the public expenses instead of bureaucracy expenditure. “If education and health are well established as well as roads and bridges, I am sure the Human Development Index in Papua would be increased,” he said.
Further, he revealed he with his colleagues from Special Autonomy Fraction and other 45 councilors currently was considering to protect the Autonomy Fund as well as to prepare special regulations related to the implementation of Special Autonomy Law. “For instance we just submitted special regulation drafts to Regional Regulatory Board (Baperda). Hopefully all 56 West Papuan councilors would support it,” he said.
He added until now they have proposed 4 drafts to Baperda including the regulations on special board on Special Autonomy; regional head election; and empowerment on Indigenous Papuan entrepreneurs. “We just pushed the four drafts. There would be another drafts to complete 24 regulations of Papua Special Autonomy Law,” Yonadap said. (Nees Makuba/Rom)
Jayapura, Jubi – Jayapura Municipal Religious Affairs Department will set up a division to deal with radicalism.
“This task force unit is consisting of our instructors that are recruited to meet our goals,” Syamsudin said on Sunday (29/3/2105) by phone.
He said he received reports about the activities of some religious sects and the task force will investigate. “In particular in Koya, there are those who are part of this sect prohibiting their children to got to school and we will confirm it,” he said. Further he hoped such a group would not exist in Jayapura Municipal.
Earlier, the Executive Director of Indonesia Institute for Democracy and Public Policy, Taufan Hunneman reminded the government about the importance of the stability of security in order to support the economic growth. He explained by referring to the current situation, the most obvious danger is the raising of sectarian issues such as Shia-Sunni issue and religious radicalism.
“Radicalism is not part of our national culture root,” said Taufan in Jakarta last week. A second danger, he continued, is a report about 500-1000 people going to Iran and Suriah for jihad (fight for its faith). “This is a critical problem which give a cause and influence to us, moreover those who involved in the war out there could only get a legal punishment instead of revocation of citizenship,” Taufan said. (Sindung Sukoco/rom)
Sorong, Jubi – Hundreds of public transportation (angkot) drivers held a protest in front of drivers held a protest in front of Dominique Edward Osok Airport, Sorong following the sudden increase of fuel price few days ago.
A driver who declined mentioning his name said the fluctuation of fuel price put drivers in dilemma. “If it continues to be happened the drivers would stop working and their families needs could be threaten while the government’s goal is people’s welfare but where is the evidence? How could get a prosperous life while fulfilling our needs is so difficult if it kept continue,” he said.
During the protest, Sorong Municipal Land Transportation Head Zikri Helmi met the drivers and asked them to be patient because today is the office day off.
“The mayor is not coming to the office, other employees as well because today is holiday. So I asked you to return on the day after tomorrow, thus we can discuss about it later,” he said to all public transportation drivers on Saturday (28/3/2015).
He also asked four driver representatives to come to Sorong Municipal Transportation Office to discuss a solution before meet with the Sorong Mayor. “On Monday (30/3/2015), Land Transportation Head Zikri Helmi revealed along the meeting the drivers could not understand about the instructions and directives given causing it lasted long but shortly the drivers went away,” he said.
Meanwhile Sorong Municipal Legislative Council’s Commission B Chairman Selestinus Paundanan said the parliament definitely support the government police in fuel price. But this support doesn’t mean the parliament was not taking side on people, but it’s a policy. However, on the other side he thought the drivers should not necessarily do a protest.
“When the price goes down, they were not necessarily low their tariff. It means they are actually not losing income because when it rises they will increase the tariff as well. But the public is the most disadvantaged due to this policy,” he said. (Nees Makuba/rom)