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Women and children

Sexual abuse and violence against children dominant in Merauke



Children ilustration –

Merauke, Metro Merauke – Violence against women in Merauke Regency, Papua this year is dominated by sexual harassment and violence against children.

More than 50 cases of maternal and child abuse in families reported this year, most are violence against minors by their own parents.

Head of Women Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming Department of Women Empowerment Child Protection, Population Control and Family Planning (P3AP2KB) Merauke regency, Yosephita Aron said, sexual harassment and violence against children are more than just a case to women.

“It first influenced by development of technology, then the legal status of family is in questioned. Many who live together but not married,” she said Monday (August 7).

The lack of assistance to adolescents to prepare them when becoming parents and responsibilities they must carry out, because having children is not merely just live together. The parenting pattern in the family also contributes to the perspective and habits of the child’s growth.

She said the P3AP2KB Office can only provide assistance for complaints from the community related to violence against women and children, so that children and women have place to report.

“There needs to be cooperation from government, religion leaders and custom, which must run synergistically. Teenage mentoring in every religion should be strengthened. Preparation of pre-marriage includes the parenting in religious coaching,” she said.

She mentioned that 80 percent of children are left unattended outside home, not with parents or families to control and teach them about life, virtuous and moral. As a result, promiscuity, moral damage becomes rampant. (*)

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Journalist turns tales of undercover Papuan reporting into love novel





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.



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Mama Yosepha Met Pacific’s Catholic Church Leaders




Mama Yosepha Alomang, Markus Haluk, and the interpreter were talking to Cardinal Ribat and Cardinal Mafi – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – After the closing of the Federation of Bishops’ Conferences of Oceania that held in Port Moresby from 12 to 16 April 2018, Mama Yosepha Alomang met two Pacific Catholic Church leaders: the Archbishop of Port Moresby Cardinal John Ribat, and the Archbishop of Tonga Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi, on 17 April 2018. Mama Yosepha accompanied by a Papuan Catholic figure Markus Haluk during the meeting.

In the meeting, she gave the Cardinals two noken (Papua’s traditional bag) of the morning star and Papuan motives to express a message of natural resources deprivation that leads to the human rights violations and religious and moral degradation. She entrusted her message to both cardinals for the World’s Catholic Church Leader the Pope Francis in the Vatican.

“I am hanging these bones on the shoulders of Cardinal John and Cardinal Mafi who are the representatives of the Holy Father Pope Francis,” said Mama Yosepha while hanging the nokens to the necks of both cardinals.

She believed that the Catholic Church leaders, especially the Pope Francis, must speak about the death occurred in West Papuans due to the repression of the Indonesian Government. She told the Cardinals that the murders still continue to prevent self-determination as well as to exploit the natural resources. “They keep arresting and murdering us because of the picture of the morning star in this noken,” she said.

She further said the Catholic Church leaders in Pacific and the world should speak up to protect the life and nature of Papuans. Praying and doing a real action should be urgent for the church at the moment. “If the Pope does not pray for us, Papuans, we must be dead. The church is our support and last hope. You must take care of us,” she hoped.

Meanwhile, Markus Haluk, who accompanied Mama Yosepha and also the Head of the ULMWP Coordination Office in West Papua, said he appreciated her tireless spirit and struggle. “Mama Yosepha handed over the nokens and her message to Cardinal Mafi and Cardinal John with a stammered and teary voice,” he said.

In separated place, Dominikus Surabut, the chairman-elect of the Papuan Customary Council, said the Catholic Church should listen to the voice of Papuan people. Papuans have waited so long for a protective prophetic voice. Papuans have waited so long for a protective prophetic voice. “The church has long been silent. Therefore the Catholic Church in Pacific should open the silent door of the Catholic Church in Papua, Indonesia,” he told the reporter on Thursday (19/4/2018) in Expo Waena, Jayapura City Papua. (*)


Reporter: Benny Mawel

Editor: Pipit Maizier 

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SMP YPPGI Sentani Conduct Paper-based National Exam instead of Computer-based National Exam




YPPGI Sentani students conduct USBN – Jubi / Yance Wenda

Sentani, Jubi – SMP (Junior High School) YPPGI Sentani Principal, David Balik said his school is not able to administer the Computer-based National Exam (UNBK) due to limited facilities. As a consequence, it conducts the Paper-based National Exam (UNKP).

“SMP Haleluya Sentani will join our school for the exam. There are 70 students from SMP YPPGI and 19 students from SMP Haleluya. So, the total is 89 students, 57 boys and 32 girls. Most of them are indigenous Papuans. Only five are non-Papuans,” said Balik at his school on Tuesday (4/17/2018).

All junior high school students in Jayapura District administer the School-based National Exam (USBN) from Monday, April 16 to Thursday, April 19. Then, they continue to conduct the Computer-based National Exam (UNBK) on April 23.

There are seven subjects tested in the USBN, and the invigilators are teachers from other schools. “The invigilators for our school are teachers from SMPN 2 Sentani. And in turn, our teachers invigilate the students of SMPN 1 Sentani. This similar way will continue for the following exam,” said Balik.

At the same place, SMP Haleluya Principal, Jonah Lasol said this is the first exam for his school. “This would be our first graduate. They are 19 indigenous students. We do not build a high-standard school, but it’s more accommodating the students’ need,” he said.

He expects the government will give more consideration in promoting education in the land of Papua because it helps people to achieve a better life. “I always tell my students that you are the future leaders of this country, and every inch of your contribution is gold. Although it’s only a few of number, they will stand for this country,” said Lasol. (*)


Reporter: Yance Wenda

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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