Friday, June 12, 2020

1) Media’s News Perspective on Papua Still Deemed Racist by Activist


2) Papua police say inmates escaped from hospital
3) Black Lives Matter protests spark reminder of ‘deeply rooted’ racial injustice towards West Papuans 
4) Indonesian pastor speaks out against racism in US, experiences backlash at home

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1) Media’s News Perspective on Papua Still Deemed Racist by Activist
Translator: Ricky Mohammad Nugraha   
Editor: Laila Afifa 
12 June 2020 09:51 WIB


TEMPO.COJakarta - A Journalist’s Union for Diversity (SEJUK) activist, Tantowi Anwari, on Thursday said Indonesian mass media in general still show a perspective that is considered racist in reporting news about Papua.

“The non-discriminatory perspective is not gained by the journalist because maybe there are elements related to factual reports added to the journalist’s status as a fresh graduate and maybe the lack of understanding, there are many of those,” said Tantowi in an online discussion on Thursday, June 11.

Moreover, he argues that many of the journalists do not implement the code of ethics in writing a news report. The code of ethics’ Article 8 blatantly mentions that a journalist must not act upon racist reasons. 

Tantowi also argues that not many mainstream media reports issues in Papua. Even if there are reports about the most Eastern part of Indonesia, they would generally only report on major issues happening there. 


“Take examples of cases regarding treason, violence. But have they (the media) accommodated the voices from Papua and those who are victimized?” Tantowi said. 

The SEJUK activist opines that news about Papua would generally be provided by government institutions such as the National Police (Polri) or Armed Forces (TNI). Even though information gained by these news sources can be validated, Tantowi regrets that most journalists would only report on Papua from the government’s perspective. 

ANDITA RAHMA

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2) Papua police say inmates escaped from hospital
8:36 am on 12 June 2020  
A number of prisoners, including Papuan independence activists, had recently been transferred to a hospital in Papua's capital Jayapura.
The escaped prisoners broke down the bars in their hospital room windows according to police spokesperson A.M. Kamal.
However Sr. Comr. Kamal has confirmed that Basoka Logo, the Head of the Political Bureau of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, remains in the hospital.
Mr Kamal says Logo is being held for alleged forgery of official documents.
However, sources say he has been detained since offering himself to police as a guarantee for the release of hundreds of Papuan students detained after widespread anti-racism protests last August.
The Liberation Movement has questioned the police version of events regarding prisoners transferred to prison among the ongoing threat of Covid-19, with the number of cases of the virus surging in Indonesia.
The Movement claimed Indonesian authorities had not taken up a recommendation by the UN over two months ago for the release of political prisoners from the country's overcrowded prisons.
While a number of general prisoners were released, Papuans who have been charged with treason-related charges after last year's protests were not among them.
Human Rights Watch today urged Indonesian authorities to drop all charges and release seven Papuan activists and students on trial for their involvement in the anti-racism protests in Jayapura last August.
Prosecutors have sought prison sentences of between five and seventeen years for the defendants.
Meanwhile, with police still pursuing the inmates who reportedly escaped, the families of the four prisoners have been asked to co-operate with authorities to have them recaptured.
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ABC News
(Photos/video footage in article_
3) Black Lives Matter protests spark reminder of ‘deeply rooted’ racial injustice towards West Papuans 
By Tasha Wibawa Posted Yesterday
The Black Lives Matter movement has inspired many Indigenous minorities to speak out about systemic racism in their own countries, but in some countries like Indonesia, their cries remain largely unheard.

Key points:

  • Papua and West Papua provinces were a Dutch colony before being incorporated into Indonesia
  • Protests last year turned violent after racist remarks were made towards a group of Papuan students
  • The Indonesian Government denies all allegations of systemic racism

Some Black Lives Matter protesters in Australia over the weekend wore the unofficial West Papua morning star flag — interpreted as a symbol of resistance and independence from Indonesian rule.

Racism towards Papuans in Indonesia is a complicated issue, due to the nature of the region’s acquisition, its vast mining deposits, government censorship and 

limited educational resources about the region’s history within the country………………


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4) Indonesian pastor speaks out against racism in US, experiences backlash at home
Rizki Fachriansyah The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, June 12, 2020   /   06:22 am



An Indonesian pastor based in the United States has caused a stir on social media because of a speech he made during a recent Black Lives Matter protest that referenced Indonesia’s history of discrimination. (Courtesy of Instagram/@voaindonesia)


An Indonesian priest based in the United States has caused a stir on social media because of a speech he made during a recent Black Lives Matter protest that referenced Indonesia’s history of discrimination.

In a video that has now gone viral, Portland City Blessing Church lead pastor Oscar Surjadi addresses a group of protesters gathered in a public square in Portland.

“I came to the US – not for this. I was born in Indonesia and I know what it means [to experience] prejudice and discrimination,” Oscar said in the video.

“I thought I [fled] Indonesia, and I came here so I could breathe freedom. But I look at what has been happening since last week, and my heart has just melted.”

Indonesian netizens have since fired back at the priest’s speech. Some claimed that Indonesia had always protected the rights of minority groups and had therefore been described inaccurately.

“Dear Oscar Surjadi, Indonesia is a very safe and harmonious country for minorities. In this country, all minority faiths are given national holidays to observe their respective holy days. You must know about this if you were born in Indonesia. Stop disparaging your own country abroad!” @Hilmi28 tweeted on Thursday.

Other Twitter users accused Oscar of treason, saying his speech was a deliberate attempt to smear Indonesia’s reputation abroad.

“Oscar Surjadi is a traitor. He is one of the nation’s enemies,” @404Termux tweeted.

According to the church’s official website, Oscar has served as the general overseer of the Portland City Blessing Church in Portland, Oregon, since 1998.

Read also: Chinese-Indonesians must support #PapuanLivesMatter

Oscar, who was born in Jakarta, left business school and abandoned his career in New York to attend Philadelphia College of Bible in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1995. He was anointed a full-time minister the same year.

Despite widespread claims of cultural and religious tolerance at a national level, Indonesian minorities have often faced discrimination and outright bigotry amid the world’s largest Muslim population.

A survey conducted by the Indonesian Survey Circle in September 2019 found that nearly 60 percent of the country’s Muslims were against the idea of non-Muslims being elected president.

More than 50 percent of the survey’s Muslim respondents were also against the idea of non-Muslims building houses of worship in predominantly Muslim neighborhoods.

Last December, Christian residents of Kampung Baru village in Dharmasraya regency in the predominantly Muslim province of West Sumatra were told by local police officers not to hold Christmas services in their own community.

The police’s suggestion was apparently made in response to a letter sent by village leaders earlier that month banning the community of about 16 families from celebrating Christmas in the neighborhood.

Other minority groups, such as Papuans, have frequently been subjected to acts of racism over the years.

Papua Police officers wrapped a snake around a native Papuan they suspected of theft during an interrogation last February. The police have since apologized for the act.

Last August, riots broke out in several provinces in the archipelago as people protested the racial abuse of Papuan students in East Java.

The death of George Floyd, an African-American man who died while being arrested in the US, and the ensuing global outcry have sparked renewed public discourse about racism against Papuans in Indonesia.


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