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In Indonesia, Promising Steps on Papua Access but More Work Needed

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Organizations who signed the recomendations - Jubi

Organizations who signed the recomendations – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – Last month Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, known as Jokowi, announced his intention to allow international journalists access to restive regions including Papua and West Papua-an issue the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has long advocated for.

His announcement comes nearly six months after Sumit Galhotra, a CPJ Asia Program Research Associate represented CPJ in Indonesia as part of a joint mission made up of press freedom and freedom of expression groups.
“Among the mission’s recommendations, released after its December visit, was a need for the government to address the limited access journalists have to these regions,” Galhotra said in CPJ press statement on Tuesday (9/6/2015).

As well as the recommendations, the mission released findings last year based on its meetings in Jakarta and Bali with journalists, media advocates, and the government.

Widodo’s announcement is a step we welcome. But Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative, wrote last month: “The shift will be welcome, if Widodo’s announcement is universally followed by all government agencies, including security forces.”
That is a big if.

Already Indonesian security officials have made statements that run contrary to the president’s announcement, according to news reports. “It appears to be business as usual this week for Indonesian government officials intent on maintaining the decades-long restrictions on foreign media access to Indonesia’s far eastern provinces of Papua and West Papua,” wrote Human Rights Watch’s Phelim Kine last month.

The joint statement released by the mission today strongly encourages the president to back his statements with concrete changes in policy that will ensure journalists can operate freely in all parts of Indonesia. It calls on Widodo to take further steps, in line with recommendations made by the mission, to protect the safety of international and local journalists.

A copy of the statement can be viewed here . (Victor Mambor)

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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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