Monday, November 11, 2019

1) Two-week delay in hearing for West Papua's activists

2) House Members Urge Prabowo to Handle Papua Seriously
3) Police Put Forth Dialogue Ahead of OPM Anniversary

1) Two-week delay in hearing for West Papua's activists
3 hours ago

The judge, Agus Widodo (left) opened the first pretrial's hearing of six suspects, including the Indonesian People's Front for West Papua (FRI-West Papua) spokesperson Surya Anta in the South Jakarta city court, Jakarta, Monday (Nov 11, 2019). ANTARA/Laily Rahmawaty/GTM

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The first pretrial hearing of the suspects accused of treason, including the Indonesian People's Front for West Papua (FRI-West Papua) spokesperson Surya Anta, was delayed by two weeks by the South Jakarta city court, Monday. The hearing was suspended because of the absence of the Jakarta Police or Polda Metro Jaya which is the defendant, the pretrial judge, Agus Widodo, explained.

"The hearing will be continued on November 25, 2019," the judge stated.

Before the adjournment, the lawyer of the accused appealed for a delay of just a week. However, Widodo as the sole judge, declined the request because the court had to respect the strict working hours of the police officers.

The Jakarta Police had detained Anta and his five mates, Charles Kossay, Dano Tabuni, Isay Wenda, Ambrosius Mulait, and Arina Elopere after they were named as suspects for treason.

The police accused the suspects of hurling West Papua's morning star flag, a symbol of the Papua independence movement, during a rally in front of Merdeka Palace, Central Jakarta, on August 28 this year.

Despite the suspects being arrested at different times and locations, they were all detained at the Mako Brimob detention center in Depok, West Java.

After months of detention, the suspects filed a pretrial hearing in the South Jakarta city court in October this year as they claimed the police had conducted unlawful investigations, confiscations, and arrests.

ANTARA was not able to immediately reach the police for comments.

Related news: DPR Commission I's 10 members visit Papua for first-hand accounts

Related news: Papua's new iconic tourist attraction Youtefa Bridge opens to public

Related news: Jokowi ready to erect Jayapura's presidential palace: Papuan figure

Reporter: Laily R/Genta Tenri Mawangi
Editor: Gusti Nur Cahya Aryani
2) House Members Urge Prabowo to Handle Papua Seriously
Translator: Ricky Mohammad Nugraha   Editor: Markus Wisnu Murti 11 November 2019 19:16 WIB
TEMPO.COJakarta - Members of the House of Representatives' (DPR) Commission I asked for Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto to seriously handle the issues on Papua and West Papua.
House members from the Gerindra faction, Sugiono, maintained that the problems besetting the two regions not only involved security issues, but also those regarding people’s welfare.
“A combined coordination with the [Defense Ministry is needed] as Papua is not only about security. It is also about the people’s welfare and the solution that must be produced by the related ministry,” said Sugiono in the meeting today at the Parliamentary Complex on Monday.

He also said that the Commission’s observation was based on direct work visits to Papua and West Papua. Sugiono said the Armed Forces (TNI) also explained they required a major territorial posture due to the vastness of the two regions.
A House legislator from the PKS faction, Jazuli Juwaini, also urged the government to mobilize additional TNI troops to monitor the activities of missionaries, which he deemed were bringing their own agenda other than spreading religious beliefs in Papua or West Papua. He asserted that the spreading of the religion itself was not the problem.

3) Police Put Forth Dialogue Ahead of OPM Anniversary

Markus Wisnu Murti

TEMPO.COJakarta - The National Police (Polri) announced they would put forth dialogue with Papua's religious and public figures ahead of the Free Papua Movement (OPM) anniversary on December 1. 
“There will be no special security measure,” said National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Mohammad Iqbal at the Polri criminal investigation agency’s headquarters on Monday.
Papua Police Chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw also assured he would continue prioritizing preemptive measures. 
“We will still ready the troops, but prioritize anticipative measures by building communication with everyone,” said Paulus on Monday, November 11. 

The two most looked-out Papuan groups, said Paulus, were separatist groups and armed criminal groups. He maintained that the two groups would be handled differently. As for political separatist groups, Paulus said that he would resort to dialogue besides preventing the spread of fake information or hoaxes.
In terms of potential OPM threats, Paulus assured that security personnel would be placed in mapped-out and strategic locations.

Friday, November 8, 2019

1) Don't Break Up Papua

2) Benny Mawel The Jakarta Post   Jayapura   /  
3) ‘Take action on Indonesia’: PNG Opposition
4) DPR Commission I's 10 members visit Papua for first-hand accounts

1) Don't Break Up Papua
8 November 2019 06:35 WIB

TEMPO.COJakarta - The plan to divide the province of Papua by establishing a new province in the southern part proves the inability of the central government to understand the roots of the problem there. This policy might satisfy a small number of the elite in Papua, but it will clearly do nothing to address the grievances felt by most of the people of Papua for years.
During his first administration, President Joko Widodo tried to resolve the problems of Papua through an economic approach. It was hoped that the building of infrastructure, especially the Trans Papuan Highway, would reduce income inequality and spark growth. But the violence that broke out in a number of places in Papua between August and October proved that this approach was not effective.
Therefore, it would be truly surprising if the government did not evaluate this policy and seek better alternative solutions. Usually, provinces are divided in order to improve the quality of public services and bring the government structure closer to the people. Dividing Papua means that the government once again has chosen the politics of redistributing prosperity. However, what the people of Papua actually want is the politics of recognizing that their esteem and dignity as original inhabitants and owners of the communal right of disposal have been disdained for years.
There is no denying that most of the division of regions that have happened since the 1998 reformasi has been triggered by political demands. But this mistake was later corrected after the ministry of home affairs and the National Development Planning Agency found that 80 percent of the 223 autonomous regions failed to improve the quality of public services. Because of that, since 2014 there has been a moratorium on establishing new regions. Without a thorough study and proper preparations, the establishment of the province of South Papua will only be a repeat of the story of failure in other regions.
The results of existing research do not make happy reading. A number of investigations have shown that regions resulting from these divisions have burdened state finances. The establishment of new provinces and regions needs new buildings such as government offices and additional police officers and military personnel. As a result, the only people who would benefit from dividing Papua would be a small number of the elite who would have the opportunity to try for the job of governor, or for official positions or seats in the Regional Representatives Council.
Not only that, it could trigger conflict. Just look at the establishment of Polewali Mamasa Regency in South Sulawesi, which ended in violence. The establishment of Central Luwu Regency in 2013 led to demonstrations and clashes that killed one person. In a region that has smoldering discontent like Papua, the potential for violence as a result of dividing the region is far higher. The government must take this into consideration.
Once again, the resolution of the protracted conflict in Papua must start from the roots. The results of a joint investigation by the Indonesian National Institute of Sciences (2019 and 2017) that mapped the roots of the conflict in Papua could be used as the basis. As well as the problem of history and the controversial integration of Papua, there is the problem of human rights abuses and violence by the security forces that have yet to be resolved fairly. Marginalization and discrimination against original Papuan people and the failure of development in Papua were also highlighted.
The best way to solve the problem of Papua can only be achieved through dialogue. Although this will be tiring and difficult, it must begin and be implemented consistently.
Read the Complete Story in this Week's Edition of Tempo English Magazine

2) Benny Mawel The Jakarta Post   Jayapura   /  
Fri, November 8, 2019   /  03:26 pm

It's 'the murder of Papuans': Local council rejects plan to establish new provinces

Papuan People’s Assembly chairman Timotius Murib said on Wednesday that the assembly had rejected the government’s plan to create two more provinces in the country's easternmost region.
Previously, Home Minister Tito Karnavian said that he already received proposals from local figures regarding the establishment of two new provinces, namely South Papua and Pegunungan Tengah Papua. If the plan is approved, the new provinces would take territory from the region's two existing provinces: Papua and West Papua.  
Even though the government is still imposing an overall moratorium on the establishment of new provinces and districts, Tito said that the government would consider the Papuan proposal.
However, it turned out that the Papuan People’s Assembly, a state-sanctioned representative council consisting of Papuans, did not agree with the plan.  
“To this day, [the assembly] will never approve recommendation for the new provinces as stipulated in Article 76 of [Law No. 21/2001 on] Papua Special Autonomy Law,” Timotius said.
He said that according to the article new provinces can only be created after receiving approval from the assembly and the provincial legislative councils. He said the two institutions would only give their approval after assessing social conditions, human resources, financial capability and possible development in the future.
After examining the aforementioned determining factors, he said the assembly has concluded that it is not the right time to form new provinces. The assembly also noted that the previous establishment of West Papua province, as well as a new regency, did not make a positive impact for the locals from political, economic and cultural perspectives.
He added that the condition of areas that would be used for the new provinces is concerning because of the prolonged conflict and the lack of commitment from the Jakarta elite to develop them. In some conflict areas like Nduga and Puncak, locals are moving away so there are currently no Papuans residing in them.
“There are no people there. Everyone has escaped from the area, so Nduga should be reunited with Wamena, as well as Puncak with Paniai,” Timotius said.
“The ones who fight for new provinces to be established are government officials [who do it] in the name of Papuans; so we reject, reject and reject,” he said.
If the Jakarta and Papua elites ignore the assembly’s disapproval, Timotius said they would be speeding up "the murder of Papuans".
“If [they] want to force new provincial formation, Jakarta should prepare as many coffins as possible. Don’t bury them in Papua, bury them in Jakarta,” he said.
Similar to Timotius, the chairman of the Sentani Tribe Council, Demas Tokoro, said new provinces would not be positive for the Papuans.
Demas said that the lack of human resources has become a problem for native Papuans, since the Papuans are in need of experts in every discipline.
“If there are no doctors or experts, then who would want to work? If they want to open new jobs for migrants then go ahead,” he told The Jakarta Post. 
The secretary of the Lapago Tribe Council, Engelbertus Surabut, is also questioning the establishment of new provinces and challenging the elites to think about its positive and negative impacts.
“Who will take benefit from this? Is it the Papuans or the non-Papuans? The Papuan elites or the people?” he asked. (dpk)


3) ‘Take action on Indonesia’: PNG Opposition
10:10 pm GMT+12, 07/11/2019, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Opposition leader Belden Namah has called on Prime Minister James Marape to take Indonesian atrocities in Papua and repeated border violations to the United Nations and make them international incidents requiring international conflict resolution mechanisms.
Namah said in a statement that Indonesia’s “secret war” was no longer secret. “Melanesians across the border are being harassed and killed next door to us,” he said.
“Their human rights, including the right to self-determination, are being trampled underfoot while our international border is violated repeatedly by Indonesian security forces in hot pursuit of Papuans.
“A Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) initiative for a fact-finding mission to the Indonesian Province has been denied by Indonesia.
“Meanwhile, there is an ongoing 6pm to 6am curfew in force throughout West Papua and a new province of South Pacific has been created necessitating increased troops movement and presence in the south close to Daru, as well as troops in the north on the border near Vanimo. Now they have West Papua, Papua and South Papua provinces on the other half of the island of New Guinea.
“It is time to take serious stock of what is going on out there. It is not just a matter of human rights violations. It is a matter of grave national interest for PNG.
“When I asked the prime minister questions in Parliament in relation to this, he was evasive but he did agree that what is happening is grave. The prime minister told Parliament that what was happening on the border was a sovereign issue for the sovereign state of Indonesia. I disagree. Border violations into PNG is not an internal matter of Indonesia. It is an international incident. Extra-judicial killing of innocent Papuans is not an internal issue but an international one.
“It is time now to make this an international issue by sponsoring it as such at the United Nations.
“Our citizens on the border are daily living in fear. We have duty to protect them. If it cannot be done on a bi-lateral or regional level, then it is time to sponsor this matter as an international issue at the United Nations,” he said.



4) DPR Commission I's 10 members visit Papua for first-hand accounts

 8 hours ago

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Some 10 members of the House of Representatives' (DPR's) Commission I, overseeing defense and foreign affairs, visited Jayapura on Friday to meet with representatives of the Papua provincial administration in order to obtain first-hand accounts.

Deputy Papua Governor Klemen Tinal received the 10 members in the company of several representatives of the Papua provincial government's regional apparatus organization (OPD).

Meanwhile, the House delegation, headed by Meutya Viada Hafid, comprised Rudianto Tjen, Sturman Panjaitan, Hi Lodewijk Paulus, Nurur Arifin, Sugiono, Yan Permenas Mandenas, Taufiq R. Abdullah, Jazuli Juwaeini, and Syaifullah Tamliha.

Tinal told the visiting legislators that the Commission I's visit was expected to make the House pay greater attention to Papua's dynamic condition and help produce more pro-Papuan people policies.

Head of the House's Commission I Meutya Viada Hafid affirmed that it was her commission's first trip to Papua since their official inauguration as members of parliament on Oct 1, 2019.

"This visit is part of our supervisory functions to gather inputs from first-hand sources on the current situation in Papua," Hafid stated.

Related news: Tembagapura's security intensified as measure against rebels' terror

Papua and West Papua have come under the radar of both Indonesian and foreign media after a spate of violence broke out in several parts of these two Indonesian provinces in August and September 2019.

On August 28, violence erupted in Deiyai District, some 500 kilometers away from Jayapura, resulting in the deaths of an army soldier and two civilians.

The indigenous Papuan residents of Jayapura again held protests on August 29, as they vented their ire over the alleged racist behavior against their Papuan compatriots in Surabaya, but their rally then turned violent.

On September 23, a deadly riot had erupted in Wamena, the capital city of Jayawijaya District, Papua Province, killing 33 civilians, including a senior medical doctor, who had served the native Papuans for 15 years.

Security challenges in the provinces of Papua and West Papua have become tougher, with the armed Papuan separatists' ongoing campaigns of killing innocent people, especially non-native Papuans, over the past years.

Two days after the rioting in Wamena erupted, a notorious group of armed Papuan criminals brutally killed three motorcycle taxi (Ojek) drivers in Sugapa Sub-district, Intan Jaya District, Papua Province.

With the incident occurring on Oct 25, the number of innocent civilians killed by these armed Papuan criminals has increased.

On September 26, they also executed two Ojek drivers, Alwi and Midung, near the Muara suspension bridge in Amnunggi Village, Ilaga Sub-district, Puncak District.

Related news: Papua police probe killing of three Ojek drivers
Related news: Notorious Papuan rebels kill three Ojek drivers

Reporter: Hendrina DK, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

1) A controversial land sale in New Zealand has met with disapproval from the West Papua solidarity movement.

2) Insight: Creating new Papuan provinces without input would add to conflict
3) Under Widodo’s watch, press freedom in Papua lowest in the country


1) A controversial land sale in New Zealand has met with disapproval from the West Papua solidarity movement.

1:47 pm on 6 November 2019 
Johnny Blades Johnny Blades, RNZ Pacific Journalist,

                                     An example of deforestation in West Papua. Photo: Mighty Earth
The government has decided to allow Japanese firm Pan Pac to purchase 22,000ha of land without any scrutiny from the Overseas Investment Office, or OIO.
The West Papua Action Auckland group has expressed its objections in a letter to the Minister of Conservation and Land Information, Eugenie Sage.
The group has zeroed in on the firm's links to Korindo, a forestry and palm oil conglomerate with a controversial record in Indonesian-ruled West Papua.
Korindo has been criticised by environmental groups for forest clearance and displacement of indigenous West Papuan communities.
Last month, when the Pan Pac purchase came to light, Ms Sage was compelled to defend the sale proceeding without scrutiny from the OIO.
She said Pan Pac was well established in New Zealand and could add value to forestry exports from the country.
"The approval means hundreds of jobs will be retained by enabling Pan Pac to secure its wood supply for its high value wood exports," Ms Sage said.

Responding to West Papua Action Auckland's concern, the minister said she was aware of the concerns regarding the destruction of forests in West Papua.
"Destruction of indigenous forest anywhere in the world is unacceptable when we are faced with a global biodiversity crisis," she told RNZ Pacific.
"In my capacity as a Green MP, I'd note the Green Party's long history of standing up for West Papua and raising concerns about the destructive nature of the palm oil industry."
However, Maire Leadbeater and Catherine Delahunty of West Papua Action Auckland wrote that destruction of the world's third largest rainforest in New Guinea was contributing to what they called 'slow genocide' of West Papuans.
"In West Papua forest clearance is inevitably followed by the introduction of palm oil plantations. For the local people this means a loss of their essential source of food and shelter."
Although the minister said "high-quality overseas investment in forestry" would support the government's One Billion Trees programme, according to West Papua Action Auckland "plantation forestry is controversial and its carbon benefits are limited".

Korindo under the spotlight

Meanwhile, the Forest Stewardship Council, a global certification body for responsible forest management, this week released findings from a two-year investigation into Korindo Group prompted by a complaint filed by the NGO Mighty Earth.
The complaint relates to environmental destruction and alleged human rights abuses committed by Korindo in Papua and Maluku in Indonesia.
Despite significant redactions, the findings show Korindo destroyed over 30,000 hectares of rainforest in the past five years "while systematically manipulating and underpaying indigenous landowners".
It also said the Korean/Indonesian conglomerate repeatedly failed to obtain the free, prior, and informed consent of local indigenous communities to development on their lands.
Pastor Anselmus Amo from SKP-KAMe Meruake, a Papuan human rights group in Papua province, said Korindo was not taking its corporate social responsibility seriously.
"Korindo has destroyed community lands and livelihoods without peoples' consent, robbed communities of their natural resources, subjected people to violence and intimidation, and polluted their rivers - all while hiring mainly workers from outside Papua," he said.
"FSC should consult directly with affected communities to better understand Korindo's egregious actions and the communities' views on what fair compensation and remediation measures would be. We stand ready to help resolve this long-standing conflict."
As a result of the findings, the FSC's Complaints Panel recommended that Korindo be disassociated from the council due to its violations of Traditional and Human Rights.
Despite this recommendation, the FSC Board decided to reach a form of compromise with Korindo on improvement and remediation measures.
It has said that Korindo's continued association with the FSC was dependent on the company complying with requirements towards social and environmental reparations and remedy.
Included in these requirements is a moratorium on land clearing across all Korindo's operations and commodities in Indonesia.

2) Insight: Creating new Papuan provinces without input would add to conflict
Septinus George Saa
  • Birmingham, UK   /   Wed, November 6 2019   /  12:16 am
In its second term, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s government should learn crucial lessons from the political actions taken in Papua and in the rest of the country, led by students. Among other things, they had raised the issue of racism against Papuans, objected to the addition of troops in Papua, demanded the release of activists, that human rights violations be resolved and demanded the end of the impunity enjoyed by the alleged murderers among the security personnel — apart from demanding a referendum for Papua as a peaceful solution to chronic grievances. These also include their sense of marginalization and the extractive investments of the members of Indonesia’s political elite. 
Our reform movement is still young, yet Jokowi’s second term has already entrusted questionable figures from the authoritarian New Order era with strategic positions. Those of us from Papua have become increasingly distrustful of the political double standards applied in Papua — notably the lower awareness of leaders and politicians of the need to take into account the views of Papuans, compared to those of non-Papuan citizens. 
The ideology of Papua Merdeka (Free Papua) continues to gain support from Papuans. For Papuans themselves, “development” from the 1960s to 2019 had started with various military operations that killed hundreds of thousands of Papuans in the land of their ancestors, pushed by the political elite without strong local foundations. 
This view was strengthened this year as Indonesia’s leaders have now given the green light to even more new provinces and regencies besides the existing Papua and West Papua. Reports say there might be five new provinces based on seven customary areas — according to the mapping of the previous Dutch colonial administration.
As a member of a younger generation, I share the sense that our ideals of a participatory political culture seem so distant and alien. A government of this day and age should not be imposing a patronizing political culture under which Papuans are not considered citizens who are aware of the political system, who are able to participate in politics.. 
Worse, Papuans are also considered to have little knowledge of the processes for offering input to government, including requests and support, or about its output, including laws and policies. That Papuans are considered citizens who are clueless about participating in politics is reflected in the plans for the new provinces and regencies in Papua, which are dangerous for Indonesia’s future in Papua. 
Actually, Papuans are fully aware of the impacts of Jakarta’s politics. The establishment of West Papua, for example, clearly reflected power struggles over the potentially lucrative posts of governor and regents. It was followed by a fairly sudden increase in the non-Papuan population, as well as an increase of land clearing and illegal logging. 
My proposed solution is very simple. First, creating new provinces and regions may indeed be a government effort to boost the Papuan economy through the stimulant of government funds to the new regions. However, the establishment of the new regions must take place through participatory politics involving wide consultation with Papuan communities.
Without such participation, resistance from Papuans will rise everywhere, which is already evident in recent statements by local political leaders. What with the still-popular ideology of Papua Merdeka, such efforts to create new regions would only be rejected on the basis that Papuans would only gain more suffering and marginalization in their own land.
Another reason for the rejection might be that a democratic Indonesia that should champion and protect its indegineous people is only a capitalist entity seeking quick solutions to drive economic growth. 
This perception has grown from the large-scale campaigns to attract investors, particularly to Papua’s extractive sector, while Papuans are part of the global indigenous community that has experienced first hand the meaning of national and foreign investment: frequent dislocation from their homes.
When this happens, whatever protests will arise will collide with the security forces of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, the “NKRI” that citizens consider must be defended at all costs. More victims will fall, worsening Indonesia’s track record on human rights violations against Papuans. Jokowi and Jakarta’s elite should take such factors into account when forming policies, such as those for new regions in Papua. 
I agree with Papua Governor Lukas Enembe who stated, “Don’t teach us, we defend NKRI all-out,” as quoted by on Aug. 24. The governor obviously understands the roots of chronic conflicts and he would agree that new regions would only incite more polemics and conflicts that native Papuans never win. Making new regions is not a “win-win solution” for Papuans; it is a “lose-lose” situation as long as Jakarta and President Jokowi continue the same approach: subjectively deciding what’s best for Papuans. 
Jokowi’s leadership must prioritize empowerment of Papuans as decision-makers with full support either through funding or other mechanisms. Potential conflicts of political interest in Papua could lead Papuans to seek further intervention by the President in their affairs.
While the President seeks to reap sympathy and genuine support from Papuans, despite the much remaining work and the plentiful, unresolved past sins of the state against Papuans, Pak Jokowi can start a new chapter in Papuans’ lives by refusing to be a leader with an autocratic and transactional style — and instead encourage the free will of Papuans. Pak Jokowi must now lead with a democratic and transformative style.
Papuan scientist, research associate with the Mason Institute of Tribology, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom; winner of First Step to Noble Prize in Physics 2004.


3) Under Widodo’s watch, press freedom in Papua lowest in the country
CNN Indonesia – November 4, 2019

Jakarta – The 2019 Press Freedom Index in Papua is still in the lowest position out of Indonesia’s 34 provinces. The Press Freedom Index for Papua stands at 66.56 or “slightly free”, or only one level above “almost free”.
This was based on results of the 2019 Press Freedom Index survey which was presented by the Press Council in Jakarta on Monday November 4.
The Press Freedom Index uses a scale of 1-100 with a higher score or a score in a range of 90-100 being categorised as “free”.
Based on the Press Freedom Index by province, Papua is in last position, although the index for Papua improved slightly this year from only 59.30 in 2018.
The province which obtained the highest score this year was Southeast Sulawesi with a score of 84.84 followed by Aceh (82.85), Central Kalimantan (80.94), Riau (79.82) and North Kalimantan (78,78).
Press Council member Asep Setiawan stated that the press freedom score for Papua is still categories as “almost free” and this cannot be separated from the social, political and security situation which is still categorised as critical.
“Because what is shown by this index is that in general Papua is still ranked as the lowest”, said Setiawan after presenting the 2019 Press Freedom Index survey results in Jakarta on Monday.
Many human rights organisations have criticised the administration of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo for not allowing broad access for journalists to report in Papua. Over the last five years, alleged human rights violations have continued to occur in Papua.
Setiawan stated that an assessment of press freedom in the land of the Cendrawasih, as Papua is known, can be seen from the three classifications used in the survey, namely, the political and physical environment, the economic environment and the legal environment.
For the physical and political environment, said Setiawan, the situation is still critical making the work of journalists difficult. These difficulties are caused by security forces as well as members of the public.
Unfavorable conditions
Setiawan stated that the economic environment is not very different. The ownership of companies and prosperity are not on par with other provinces.
“Finally the legal environment, the legal issues are related to threats against press freedom. This is also something which is an indicator in Papua, and it’s still not favourable”, said Setiawan.
Because of this therefore, Setiawan said that the government needs to develop press freedom and the mass media in Papua by providing access for journalistic work. Openness towards the press will assist journalists in understanding the social and political situation in society.
“So if access to information by journalists and the mass media on the political situation is high, then it will actually provide a positive impact on the social, political and economic situation”, he said.
Setiawan stated that it is important for the central government, the regional government and the security forces to provide the broadest possible access to reporting in Indonesia’s easternmost province.
“What for? A high index depicts press freedom, which at the same time has a correlation with democracy and the economy. That’s what’s important”, he said.
The 2019 Press Freedom Index used a quantitative and qualitative approach. For the quantitative approach face to face interviews with expert respondents with a questioner were used. The qualitative approach used focus discussion groups with specialist sources.
The Press Freedom Index survey covered three aspects, namely physical and political, the economic environment and the legal environment. There were 20 indicators used in the survey involving 408 specialist resource people as respondents in 34 provinces.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Di Era Jokowi, Indeks Kemerdekaan Pers di Papua Terendah”.]