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RSF asks Indonesia’s president to let journalists work in West Papua

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Indonesia is ranked 130th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index – IST

Jayapura, Jubi – Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Indonesian President Joko Widodo to keep his election promise to allow local and international journalists to operate in West Papua, the Indonesian half of the island of New Guinea, without obstruction or surveillance. RSF’s appeal follows the expulsion of French journalists Franck Escudie and Basile Longchamp on visa violation grounds on 17 March.

 “We remind the Indonesian president of his undertaking to scrap the restrictions that obstruct the work of foreign journalists in West Papua,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “Indonesia is due to host the World Press Freedom Day celebrations on 3 May but, given its repeated refusals to issue press visas and the growing number of journalists on its blacklist, it falls far short of qualifying as a country that supports freedom of expression and media freedom.”

During his campaign for election as president in July 2014, Widodo said he would allow journalists to visit West Papua freely, thereby raising hopes that media freedom would revive in the region.

But the visa regulations are as draconian as ever and West Papua’s immigration officials and military continue to abuse their authority in order to prevent independent reporting, with the government in Jakarta’s tacit consent.

In January 2016, RSF condemned the Indonesian government’s refusal to let French journalist Cyril Payen visit Indonesia after France 24 broadcast the documentary he had just made about West Papua, entitled “Forgotten war of the Papuas.”

Two British journalists, Rebecca Prosser and Neil Bonner, were sentenced to two and a half months in prison on 3 November 2015 for violating the terms of their visas.

Two French journalists, Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat, were arrested while preparing a report in West Papua in August 2014.

Indonesia is ranked 130th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index.(*)

Source: rsf.org

Editor: Zely Ariane

Economy

Two young Papuans, selling newspapers for study

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Robi Wenda while serving his customer – Jubi / Yance Wenda

Sentani, Jubi – Awan Sol, a 19 years old student of Papuan Baptist Theology in Jayapura works part-time selling newspapers in front of the former Merpati Office at Abepura, Jayapura City to meet his daily needs.

Sol whom is native of Yahukimo District said he works early in the morning before the class and sell approximately 30 to 50 copies of newspapers every day. “Headlines are a factor whether newspapers will immediately be sold out or not. If I can sell 10, I got Rp 100 thousand. The more copies I sell, the more money I get. After the class, I continue to sell the rest of copies,” he told Jubi on Wednesday (4/7/2018).

Meanwhile, Robi Wenda, a student of Cenderawasih University has to postpone from his study due to financial issue. He is now selling the local newspapers at the Sentani Airport to support his needs. “I sell ‘Jubi’ and ‘Cepos’ every day,” he said to the reporter at the Sentani Airport, Jayapura District. (*)

 

Reporter: Yance Wenda

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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KOMNAS HAM Papua: AI is influential in the United Nations

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Amnesty International when launching its report in Jayapura City. – Jubi / Doc

Jayapura, Jubi – Human Rights National Commission (KOMNAS HAM) Papua Representative said people should not underestimate the Amnesty International (AI) because the agency is quite influential in the United Nations.

Ramandey’s statement was related to the launched of AI’s report ‘Sudah, Kasi Tinggal Dia Mati: Pembunuhan dan Impunitas di Papua (Fine, Let them all died: Killing and Impunity in Papua)’ on 2 July 2018 in Jayapura.

The Amnesty International reports since January 2010 to 2018, the Indonesian security forces killed 95 people in both provinces of Papua and West Papua, which 69 victims killed without legal consent, and 85 were indigenous Papuans. However, the report has reaped the reaction from the police and military.

“AI is very influential in the decisions taken in the UN Human Rights Council, especially related to the human rights cases,” Ramandey told Jubi on Friday (6/7/2018).

Further, he said it should consider that the Amnesty International, which has 72 offices around the world, is the only institution received the accreditation from the UN to provide views on the alleged human rights violations.

“This is a good practice for the state to improve the legal system and litigation. A mechanism, a dynamic that the Indonesian Government—not only the police and military—should consider. The government must give a good response,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Director of LP3BH (Research, Study and Legal Assistance of Manokwari) said both civil and military officers in Indonesia have the custom to rebut over the report without sufficient data and investigation results of proper standards and methodologies. It often leads to polemical lies in public. “It could also lead to ignorance among Indonesians including Papuans about questionable legal facts in order obtaining fair, transparent and accountable information.” (*)

Reporter: Arjuna Pademme

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Where does Rp 9.56 billion for Panggama Airport’s construction go?

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Papuan Legislator Natan Pahabol (blue shirt) with the Yahukimo community. – Jubi / Doc

Jayapura, Jubi – Papuan legislator from Yahukimo, Yalimo and Pegunungan Bintang electoral districts Natan Pahabol questioned the funds allocated for the airport construction in Panggama Sub-district Yahukimo.

He said the Papua Provincial Government allocated Rp 11.95 billion in 2016 to renovate the Panggama Airport. The amount of Rp 9.56 billion has disbursed to the contractor in the fiscal year 2017. In the same year, the contractor began to work on the former airport that was built by missionaries from the European Evangelical Agency around 1972-1973 in collaboration with the GKI Synod in Tanah Papua under the leadership of the Rev. Adam Roth.

“After that, the work discarded and until now the airport has not finished. So when it rains so heavy, the airport is flooded. By this year it cannot be used,” said Pahabol to Jubi on Friday (6/7/2018).

Further, he said during this time, the local community, especially the church workers from GKI Yalimo and Anggruk depend on this airport for their only access in and out of the region by using the small-bodied aircraft. Now, their access has obstructed due to the construction.

“We are questioning to the Public Works Office, who’s responsible for the airport’s construction? The airport is for the public access, so we hope the office could immediately find out who the contractor is?” he said.

Another Papuan legislator, John NR Gobai said it is not just the Panggama Airport but infrastructure development in some areas, especially in Papua has not finished for years. “For instance, Karang Tumarisita Bridge in Nabire District. It has not finished for three years, and it’s a responsibility of the government agency,” he said. (*)

Reporter: Arjuna Pademme

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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