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Hostage-Taking Incident Used as Pretext for Extra Troop Deployment

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33 special force members were repatriated after hostage release - Jubi

33 special force members were repatriated after hostage release – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – The hostage-taking of two Indonesian citizens by an alleged rebel group in Papua New Guinea has been used as a pretext to deploy more troops on the border, accoriding to a Papuan legislator.

A member of Commission I of Papua Legislative Council for Politics, Law and Human Right Affairs, Laurenzus Kadepa, claimed that the incident was a plan to legitimize military deployment to Papua, in particular in border area.
“I think it was intentionally done in order to expand the number of military personnel at Indonesia – Papua New Guinea border area. If they were been hostage, why they could be released easily?” Kadepa told Jubi by phone on Sunday evening (27/9/2015).

According to him, after this incident was blown up to the public, in the same day, on Saturday (12/9/2015), hundreds of Military personnel from Battalion Infantry 406 Unit – Purbalingga, Diponegoro IV Regional Military Command and Battalion Infantry 411 Raider Salatiga and Brigif 6 Army Command were departed to Papua to be assigned as Special Security Force on Indonesia – PNG border area.

“As reported by an online media, they were departed from Tanjung Emas Seaport, Semarang. They were launched as Border Special Guard by Diponegoro IV Military Regional Commander Major General Jaswandi and Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo,” he said.

Earlier, on 12 September 2015, two Indonesian citizens who work in a logging company, Sudirman and Badar were reportedly taken hostage and detained by an armed group to PNG area while were in the forest.

On 17 September 2015, both hostages were released. After their release, Papua Police Chief stated the Police still couldn’t determine the perpetrators or the rebel group who kidnapped Badar and Sudirman. Meanwhile, the Cenderawasih XVII Regional Military Commander Major General Hinsa Siburian said there is no extra deployment at the border area. “Not yet. We don’t think about it now. I think we have enough strength,” said the Commander Siburian at that time. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)

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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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Journalist turns tales of undercover Papuan reporting into love novel

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Aprila Wayar poses with her latest novel Sentuh Papua which chronicles a Dutch journalist’s undercover reporting of Papua and is based on actual events – Bambang Muryanto/Jakarta Post

By Bambang Muryanto

A Dutch freelance journalist, Rohan (a pen name), had been interested in the political turmoil in Papua for years. In 2015, his application for a journalistic visa was denied. The 32-year-old then decided to embark on an undercover reporting assignment in the country’s easternmost province.

For 153 days, he observed the way local people lived, met with leaders of the pro-independence Free Papua Movement (OPM) in the jungle, enjoyed the beauty of Papua’s nature and met Aprila Russiana Amelia Wayar, or Emil, a local journalist who later became his girlfriend.

It was Emil who wrote about Rohan’s adventures in Papua and their love story in the novel Sentuh Papua, 1500 Miles, 153 Hari, Satu Cinta (Touch Papua, 1500 Miles, 153 Days, One Love).

In the novel, Rohan’s character said foreign media agencies in Jakarta refused to publish his report on Papua, worrying that the government would revoke the visas of their Jakarta correspondents.

Emil recently launched her 374-page novel in a discussion forum organised by the Alliance of Independent Journalists’ (AJI) Yogyakarta chapter and the Yogyakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH).

Emil has been in Yogyakarta since early this year to publish the book. She chose Yogyakarta because she had spent time there as a student at Duta Wacana Christian University (UKDW).

The 38-year-old author said she initially intended to write a journalistic piece that was rich in data and interviews. She used the character of Rohan to describe the lack of press freedom in Papua, human rights violations in the province and challenges to OPM’s quest for self-determination.

‘Easier to understand’

“I then chose [to write a] novel to make it easier for Papuans and Indonesians to understand the [province’s] issues,” she said.

Through the book, Emil, who used to work for independent media platform Tabloid Jubi, was determined to represent the other side of Papua’s story vis-a-vis mainstream reporting on the province, which she deemed mostly biased.

She said many journalists covering cases of human rights abuses in Papua only interviewed security personnel and neglected the victims.

“Journalists writing about Papua have to cover both sides,” she said.

However, she realised both the challenge and risks that come with reporting Papua as a journalist, as she herself often received threats and harassment while doing her job.

In her book, the characters Rohan and Amelia, who is based on herself, are chased by a group of people armed with machetes.

According to Reporters Sans Frontier’s (RSF) latest World Press Freedom Index, Indonesia ranks 124th out of 180 countries – the same position as last year.

Open access promise

The Paris-based group highlighted the restriction of media access to Papua and West Papua as a factor that has kept Southeast Asia’s largest democracy at the bottom of the list.

The condition prevails despite President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s campaign promises to open access to Papua for foreign journalists.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Press Council categorised Papua and West Papua as “medium/relatively free” in its 2017 press freedom index.

Yogyakarta-based lawyer Emmanuel Gobay said Emil’s book, despite being published as fiction, was a good reference for those who want to understand Papua from both the local and professional perspective.

“This novel reflects the state of press freedom in Papua,” he said.

The novel, which Emil wrote in eight months, is her third after Mawar Hitam Tanpa Akar (Black Rose Without Its Stem) and Dua Perempuan (Two Women), both of which told stories about social issues in Papua.

Emil was the first indigenous Papuan novelist invited to the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF) in Bali in 2012. She plans to write a fourth book in the Netherlands, where she is currently undergoing medical treatment for a heart condition. (*)

Bambang Muryanto is a Jakarta Post journalist and an Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) advocate.

 

Source: asiapacificreport.nz

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Depapre road severely damaged after the president’s visit

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Road to the capital of Depapre Sub-district – Jubi / Engel Wally


Sentani, Jubi – People in Depapre Sub-district are complaining about road infrastructure in their sub-districts that have still in severely damaged condition.

Instead of the Jayapura District Government should be responsible for the repair; however, it is the responsibility of the Papua Provincial Government.

The Provincial Highway Agency has started the repair, but the works stopped before it completed.

The current Jayapura Regent Mathius Awoitauw said the local government unceasingly communicate and coordinate with the provincial government to be more aware of the condition of road infrastructure in his territory.

“The local government hopes that the problem of road infrastructure would be completely resolved by the provincial government because we have no authority over this,” said the regent at Sentani on Friday (4/5/2018).

He said the repair stopped because some culprits only consider their interests than the community. He figured the current job was on the halfway stage of completion, but somehow it suspended. “We hope the provincial government can fully complete the work of Depapre road this year,” he hoped.

Meanwhile Depapre Sub-district Chief said the impact of damaged roads results in frequent accidents in Depapre. “When the president was here last time, the road was very smooth, but then it has been badly damaged until now,” he said. (*)

Reporter: Engel Wally

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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