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Foreign Journalists Need Freedom to Cover Papua

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The chairman of the Jayapura city branch of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI),  Victor Mambor - Jubi

The chairman of the Jayapura city branch of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), Victor Mambor – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – The chairman of the Jayapura city branch of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI),  Victor Mambor, said although President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has declared that Papua is open to foreign journalists, the fact on the ground is different.

Foreign journalists are still having difficulties in working in Papua, Mambor said.

Foreign journalists should not only be allowed to visit Papua, but also report freely, he said.

Mambor made the remarks during a national seminar held Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) in the auditorium of LIPI, Jalan Gatot Subroto, Jakarta last weekend.

He said, although foreign journalists are free to visit Papua, they are not free to report.

“As journalists, we know the risks. Missing and dying on the spot of coverage is the risk the comes with being a journalist, ” said Mambor, who also is also editor-in-chief of Jubi

According to him, since Jokowi announced restrictions on foreign journalists in Papua were lifted, 18 foreign reporters have visited Papua, 12 of them at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The other six entered independently. It’s two different things.

Not all foreign journalists can enter Papua independently, even after he did the coverage and wanted to come back to Indonesia. One of them was French journalist Cyril Payen, who some time ago his visa was refused for no apparent reason.

“We appreciate the government rules, but if it is not publicly explained, this will be ” loose cannon or bola liar.” If they are rejected or do not meet the procedures, should be explained openly. Moreover, the problem is the visit letter. French radio reporter was given a letter to go to Jayapura, while he covered not only in Jayapura. It was then a problem when he went out of Jayapura “he said.

“The French came with two permits, to coverage and make a video. Because of the coverage he was called by the Indonesian consulate in Bangkok, “he continued.

According to him, even though foreign journalists has received permission from Jakarta, but there will be Papua police and army involvements when they come. He said they had tried to discuss with the relevant local military commander and police chief foreign correspondent but these two institutions refused.

“I also wonder whether the president’s instruction was known by the police chief and military commander or not.” He said.

At the same occasion, director of the Alliance for Democracy in Papua (ALDP), Latifa Anum Siregar, who also presented as a guest speaker in the seminar stated until now the access of foreign journalists to Papua has not been as expected.

“I think until now there will be journalists who proudly calls itself the first came and got extraordinary flexibility when Jokowi’ve talked to open access of foreign journalists to Papua,” she continued.

Another speaker, Tantowi Yahya, said the president’s decision to open  access for foreign journalists to Papua remained controversial at the central government level.

“When we talk with stakeholders in government, they also have not one word. There is a desire, there is also a look at the impact of the enormous freedom. That is why since the reign of Soeharto to SBY was never opened, “said deputy chairman of commission I of the House of Representatives. (Arjuna Pademme)

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WEST PAPUA SOLIDARITY FOR EARTHQUAKE DISASTER IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

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West Papua visit lacked transparency says Solomons group

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Downtown Jayapura – RNZ / Koroi Hawkins

There should have been more transparency around a government-led delegation’s visit to West Papua last month, a leader of Solomon Islands civil society says.

The Solomon Star reports Development Service Exchange (DSE) spokesperson Jennifer Wate made the comment while rejecting any involvement in the trip.

This is despite DSE chairperson, Inia Barry, being among several from civil society organisations who went along on the visit which was hosted by Indonesia.

Ms Wate said her organisation had found out about the trip the evening before the delegation’s departure for West Papua.

The DSE did not endorse Mr Barry or any of the other civil society representatives who took part in the West Papua visit, she said

Ms Wate maintained her organisation was not aware of any details of the trip or its terms of reference and she called on the Solomon Islands government in the future to formally approach the DSE on matters that required civil sector representation.

Ms Wate also admonished the government for not informing civil society groups in West Papua ahead of their trip. (*)

 

Source: Radio NZ

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Refuse dialogue, ULMWP said Acting Governor does not understand Papua

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Benny Wenda – Jubi / Doc

Jayapura, Jubi – The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) firmly refused the offer from the Acting Papua Governor Soedarmo for a dialogue.

“It is the acting governor (Papua) and the Government of Indonesia that disturb the stability of the Papua’s nation. Papuans never asked Indonesia and its military to come to Papua. Indonesia is not aware of the fact it has deprived over the land of Papua and its people,” said Benny Wenda to rebutting the acting governor’s claim that the ULMWP is a group who is responsible to the disturb of political, economic and security stability in Papua.

Wenda confirmed by telephone on Friday (Oxford, Saturday, 5/5/2018) said dialogue is not the goal of ULMWP. The acting governor instead can have the dialogue with church leaders, Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP), Papuan House of Representatives (DPRP) or Non-Governmental Organizations. “He can talk with the Church, MRP, DPRP and NGOs to address the problems that occurred in Papua. ULMWP is fighting for the referendum for the people of Papua. That’s our goal,” he said.

Wenda furthermore said what Papuans asked from Indonesia is not development but political liberation. “The acting governor does not understand the root of the Papuan problem; it is ashamed,” said Wenda.

The Acting Papua Governor Soedarmo earlier claimed to be ready for opening a dialogue with the ULMWP and the West Papua National Committee as well as other groups who keep voicing the struggle for the independence of Papua. “As the acting governor, I am ready for dialogue, but it should do on the basis of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, and how we build Papua in the future,” Soedarmo said in a press release. Moreover, he said the dialogue should not be formal.

“That’s the way I appreciate. I am ready for a dialogue in the cafe, no need to do it at the office,” he added. (*)

Reporter: Victor Mambor

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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