Jayapura, Jubi – The freedom of the press in Papua province is a stepping stone so that the relationship between Jakarta and Papua can always be resolved based on facts.
“When the name was Irian Jaya, people were not allowed to use the term of Papua, even if it was written in media. It raised a problem; the freedom of the press in Papua was automatically to obey Jakarta. Papua was like a stepping stone,” said Abdul Munib in his paper “The Problems in Papua and Papuans: Issues Escape from Media Coverage”.
The Chairman of the Indonesian Press Council, Bagir Manan claimed about three months ago the council has issued an official statement to urge the freedom of the press for journalists in Papua. According to him, later in the meeting with the Commission I of the House of Representatives, legislators asked the considerations behind it.
“I said there are several considerations. At first, the independence of press is a choice. Since the era of reform, our country has emphasized the independence of press, it was proven by the Press Law No. 40/1999 that applied to the entire regions in this country,” Manan told reporters after the Seminar on The Freedom of the Press Protrait in Province Papua in Jayapura on Wednesday (28/10/2015).
Secondly, the Press Council believes that the Government, Military and Police have capability to handle the press if they were misconducted. “The third, covering or restricting the freedom of the press in Papua would reveal the hidden issues. And fourth, using technology to prevent the access of journalist is useless, because in technically they were not here, but they could get information about what was going on here,” he said.
He said, as a part of the freedom of the press, the openness is exactly to simplify the problem resolutions. Based on this fact, the council asked the freedom of the press in Papua, both for domestic and foreign journalists. “It’s the basis of our statement. It would not change,” he said. (Abeth You/rom)