Wednesday, October 21, 2015

1) State-Owned Company Should Take Freeport Indonesia Stake: Minister

3) Allegations regarding a trial in West Papua

1) State-Owned Company Should Take Freeport Indonesia Stake: Minister
By : Reuters | on 1:39 PM October 21, 2015
Jakarta. One of two Indonesian government-owned companies, miner Aneka Tambang or aluminium producer Inalum, should buy the stake that Freeport-McMoran's plans to divest in its Indonesian unit, the country's state-owned enterprise minister said.
Freeport Indonesia is looking to divest 10.6 percent of the company as part of the process of extending its contract to operate its huge copper and gold mine in the region of Papua beyond 2021. It must propose the divestment share price to the government this month.

The comments from SOE Minister Rini Soemarno come as ministers have been battling over control of US mining giant Freeport's future in the country, threatening to mar President Joko Widodo's five-day trip to the United States later this month.
"We propose that state-owned enterprises can take the divested share," Soemarno told reporters on Wednesday. "There are two possibilities: Antam and Inalum."
Indonesia's government, which already has a 9.4-percent stake in Freeport Indonesia, will have 90 days to decide on the divestment proposal once it has been received.
Freeport has no issues relating to the proposed divestment as long as it has a "legal basis and a clear mechanism", said company spokesman Riza Pratama. The US miner would prefer to make the divestment through an initial public offering, he added.

An IPO has previously been backed by Indonesian mines ministry officials.
Aneka Tambang was willing to take the Freeport Indonesia stake, Chief Executive Tedy Badrujaman told a parliamentary hearing on Wednesday, although the state-owned nickel miner would need help from financial institutions to fund the acquisition.
Such discussions had already begun, he added.
Inalum did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Ahead of Widodo's first trip to the United States next week, ambassador Robert Blake told reporters on Wednesday that Freeport was not actually seeking a contract extension, but instead wanted assurances that when its current contract expires, it would be extended.
"Freeport is ready to start investing in the underground mine in Papua but of course they need some assurances that their contract will be extended so they can recoup some of their investment," said Blake, speaking in Jakarta.
Earlier this month, Indonesian government officials said they planned to amend rules on mining contract renewals by the end of the year, which would allow companies to propose an extension 10 years before their contracts expire.
Present rules only allows talks on an extension to start two years before a contract is due to end.
Reporters Without Borders is very disappointed by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s performance as regards freedom of information and media freedom during his first year in office.
Despite the democratic hopes raised by his election, Joko Widodo’s presidency is far from meeting expectations with regard to access to information,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk.
The authorities continue to suppress information and Jokowi’s campaign pledge to open up the West Papua region to foreign journalists was just an illusion. If journalists can go there – under certain conditions – they are closely watched, exposing their sources to reprisals by the authorities.
The former governor of Jakarta, Jokowi began his term well. His inauguration on 20 October 2014 was followed a few days later by the release of French journalists Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois.
Bourrat and Dandois had fallen victim to Indonesia’s restrictive practices in West Papua (the western half of the island of New Guinea) and were sentenced to two and a half months in prison for violating Indonesia’s draconian immigration laws by doing a report there after entering the country on tourist visas.
Their fixer, Areki Wanimbo, was only released after being held for eight months.
Ever since annexing the West Papua region in 1963, the Indonesia authorities have restricted access for foreign journalists because of acts of violence against civilians and the government’s crackdown on the separatist movements operating there. The few journalists managing to visit the region, which is an information “black hole,” have been closely watched.
On 10 May, Jokowi announced the lifting of the ban on foreign journalists going to the West Papua region. The opening of Indonesia’s most secret region to journalists was one of the campaign promises made by Jokowi, who even told journalists that “there’s nothing to hide”.
The decision allowed New Zealand’s Maori TV to do a report on the ethnic Papuan community for its “Native Affairs” programme. This was the first report of this kind in more than 50 years.
But there is no guarantee of lasting access to information in the region. Certain army factions that have profited from Indonesia’s occupation are expected to continue to oppose media coverage. It is also highly unlikely that the authorities will let journalists investigate all the human rights violations that have taken place since annexation.
Jokowi’s announcement – made while Indonesia was in the international spotlight following the death sentences pass on seven foreigners for drug trafficking – has all the hallmarks of a smokescreen designed to fob off international public opinion and add some temporary gloss to Indonesia’s image.
While foreign reporters are no longer openly targeted in the West Papua region, the authorities still have their fixers and sources in their sights. Two fixers working for a French journalist were arrested and questioned by the police at the start of this month.
The authorities also restrict the freedom of local journalists. Abeth You, a reporter for the website, was attacked by police on 8 October while covering a demonstration in Jayapura, the West Papua region’s biggest city. It was organized by Solidarity for Victims of Human Rights Violations in Papua.
After the police bundled You into a truck, an officer seized his camera and deleted all his photos – all the while threatening him with his gun. Even when they have press cards, local journalists covering demonstrations continue to be treated by the police as demonstrators.
Coverage of certain sensitive subjects also continues to be closely controlled in the rest of Indonesia. British journalists Rebecca Prosser and Neil Bonner are still awaiting a verdict in their trial after being arrested for reportedly filming a reenaction of pirates attacking an oil tanker in the Malacca Strait, near Singapore.
Rear Admiral Taufiqurrahman said shortly after their arrest that "what they were reenacting (…) could tarnish the image of the Malacca Strait as a crime-prone area.” The two journalists have been held since May under Indonesia’s immigration laws.
In a couple of months, we will know whether Jokowi’s presidency has caused Indonesia to fall in the 2016 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

3) Allegations regarding a trial in West Papua
Statement by the Executive-Director of the LP3BH

   A statement recently made by Zakarias Horota, speaking on behalf of the Secretariat of the Papuan Traditional Council of Regional III,
Doberai, regarding the case in Bintuni against  my client, Semuel Jitmau  of the TNI AD is extremely damaging and in violation of the
law.   The statement was published in a local media outlet in Sorong preceding  the verdict that is due to be  announced by the Military

  Speaking as the Legal Counsel, I would like to make it clear to Mr Horota that the rights of persons appearing before such a court are
equal whether the person is being accused of corruption or for acts that are life threatening, which is the case regarding the allegations
against my client, Semuel Jitmau.  If Mr Horota were to take the trouble of reading recent accounts in the media, it is clear as has been stated by
 the Regional Commander (Danrem) and by the Military Commander on a number of occasions, that if a person is charged  with  murder , even 
if the person is a member of the Indonesian Amy, the trial will proceed in accordance with the

   I would like to make it clear that up until this moment, I myself as the legal counsel  of Mr Jitmau, have not received any information
about whether my client  is being charged as a suspect by POM DAM XVII Cenderawasih, Jayapura.   Even if he is regarded as a suspect, 
the principle of innocence is a firm guarantee of his rights, even in a military court here in
Indonesia. It would appear that comments that were made by Mr Horota are very damaging  in this regard..

  I would like to warn Mr Horota to stop making statements in the local printed and electronic media that appear to be an attempt to
make allegations against my client that could result in counter charges against him.and be would a threat against the interests of my client.

Yan Christian Warinussy
Executive Director of the Institute of Research, Analysing and
Development of the Law.
Translated by Carmel Budiardjo

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