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Foreign Journalists Need Freedom to Cover Papua

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The chairman of the Jayapura city branch of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI),  Victor Mambor - Jubi

The chairman of the Jayapura city branch of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), Victor Mambor – Jubi

Jayapura, Jubi – The chairman of the Jayapura city branch of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI),  Victor Mambor, said although President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has declared that Papua is open to foreign journalists, the fact on the ground is different.

Foreign journalists are still having difficulties in working in Papua, Mambor said.

Foreign journalists should not only be allowed to visit Papua, but also report freely, he said.

Mambor made the remarks during a national seminar held Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) in the auditorium of LIPI, Jalan Gatot Subroto, Jakarta last weekend.

He said, although foreign journalists are free to visit Papua, they are not free to report.

“As journalists, we know the risks. Missing and dying on the spot of coverage is the risk the comes with being a journalist, ” said Mambor, who also is also editor-in-chief of Jubi

According to him, since Jokowi announced restrictions on foreign journalists in Papua were lifted, 18 foreign reporters have visited Papua, 12 of them at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The other six entered independently. It’s two different things.

Not all foreign journalists can enter Papua independently, even after he did the coverage and wanted to come back to Indonesia. One of them was French journalist Cyril Payen, who some time ago his visa was refused for no apparent reason.

“We appreciate the government rules, but if it is not publicly explained, this will be ” loose cannon or bola liar.” If they are rejected or do not meet the procedures, should be explained openly. Moreover, the problem is the visit letter. French radio reporter was given a letter to go to Jayapura, while he covered not only in Jayapura. It was then a problem when he went out of Jayapura “he said.

“The French came with two permits, to coverage and make a video. Because of the coverage he was called by the Indonesian consulate in Bangkok, “he continued.

According to him, even though foreign journalists has received permission from Jakarta, but there will be Papua police and army involvements when they come. He said they had tried to discuss with the relevant local military commander and police chief foreign correspondent but these two institutions refused.

“I also wonder whether the president’s instruction was known by the police chief and military commander or not.” He said.

At the same occasion, director of the Alliance for Democracy in Papua (ALDP), Latifa Anum Siregar, who also presented as a guest speaker in the seminar stated until now the access of foreign journalists to Papua has not been as expected.

“I think until now there will be journalists who proudly calls itself the first came and got extraordinary flexibility when Jokowi’ve talked to open access of foreign journalists to Papua,” she continued.

Another speaker, Tantowi Yahya, said the president’s decision to open  access for foreign journalists to Papua remained controversial at the central government level.

“When we talk with stakeholders in government, they also have not one word. There is a desire, there is also a look at the impact of the enormous freedom. That is why since the reign of Soeharto to SBY was never opened, “said deputy chairman of commission I of the House of Representatives. (Arjuna Pademme)

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Call for Pacific regional groups to investigate Papua chemical attacks

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West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda. Photo: RNZI/ Koroi Hawkins

Jayapura, Jubi – The United Liberation Movement for West Papua is calling for Pacific regional groups to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons in Indonesia’s Papua region.

The movement’s chair, Benny Wenda, said the Pacific Islands Forum and the Melanesian Spearhead Group should urgently send fact-finding missions to Nduga regency.

This comes after unverified reports of the suspected use of white phosphorus weapons by Indonesia’s military against civilians in Nduga.

Indonesia last month called the claims “totally baseless”.

But Mr Wenda said its security operations in Nduga had created a “humanitarian crisis”.

In a statement, he said Indonesia should also grant the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights access to West Papua to complete its own fact-finding mission.

Mr Wenda said humanitarian aid organisations should also be allowed in to Nduga to “relieve the suffering of West Papuans”.

A massive joint police and military operation has been underway in the remote Highlands regency, as well as neighbouring regencies, since December, in a hunt for members of the West Papua Liberation Army.

The armed group is responsible for the killings of at least 16 Indonesian construction workers and one soldier in November.

The joint operation has sparked sporadic shootouts between the Liberation Army and Indonesia’s military, with at least one soldier and one rebel fighter shot dead this year. (*)

 

Source: Radionz.co.nz

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Attorney says Skrypski forced to attend the trial

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Fabian Skrzypski and Simon Magal while listening to their prosecution at Wamena District Court on Monday (1/14/2019) -Jubi / Islami

Wamena, Jubi – The trial against the Polish man Jakub Fabian Skrzypski and Simon Magal accused of treason finally be held at Wamena District Court on Monday (1/14/2019).

Chief Judge Yajis, SH, MH accompanied by member judges Roberto Naibaho SH and Ottow W.T.G.P Siagian, SH read the 14 pages charges for both defendants.

Earlier, the Polish Jakub Fabian Skrzypski went on a hunger strike and declined to attend the trial on 8 January 2019 as he preferred to continue the hearing in Jayapura. His act consequently caused a delay.

For the recent trial, however, as Skrzypski still denied the trial, his attorney Yance Tenoye said the prosecutor came to the police custody to force his client attending the hearing. 

Furthermore, Tenoye said the attorney team has tried to persuade his client to pursue the trial, but he remained to refuse. However, they thought he has the right to do so.  

However, the prosecutor said that he would take Jakub to the trial after coordinating with the security forces.  So Jakub was forced to attend the trial. Even the prosecutor said inappropriate words against him,” Tenoye told reporters after the trial.

Moreover, Tenoye said the trial run smoothly. However, the defendant’s application to have a Polish interpreter was denied by the court, as English was considered enough by the judges. 

I think it’s defendant’s right to ask for the Polish interpreter and the court should consider it,” said Tenoye. 

By contrast, the prosecutor Ricarda Arsenius, who’s also the Head of the General Crime Department of Jayawijaya Prosecutor Office, said no intimidation occurred regarding the attending of the defendant at trial.

He further claimed what he did was only to prompt the order of the panel of judges to bring the defendant to the court. “Jakub initially objected to coming to the hearing, but after we talked and convinced him, he changed his mind. The next session will be held on 21 January 2019 to hear the exceptions by defendants’ attorney team,” Arsenius said.

Meanwhile, Latifa Anum Siregar from Skrzypski’s attorney team admitted that in the next trial, her team would present their exceptions from two aspects. First, the chapters of law applied by the prosecutor to charge her client. The prosecutor uses the alternative chapters 1 or 3 or 4, which show the hesitant of the prosecutor which sections should he presents at the hearing.  Moreover, according to her, these articles are weak to apply in the court. 

The second aspect is we will observe the clearance and the compliance of the charges. We will prepare our exceptions for the next 21 January,” she said.  (*)

 

Reporter: Islami Adisubrata

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Indonesian Punk Band talks about West Papua issue in ASEAN countries

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Band members of Koteka Is The Reason, currently on a tour to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore. Photo: Tep Sony

Jayapura, Jubi – A good band gets you raving about their music but a brilliant band takes the discourse one notch higher. A striking name like Koteka Is The Reason is enough to get people wondering: “what the hell does that mean?” and that is exactly what its founder Anca was trying to do, he told Good Times2 during an interview on Monday.

Let’s not beat around the bush. Koteka, essentially, is a penis cover traditionally worn by some of the indigenous tribes in the Papua Island. Made out of dried-out gourd, it symbolises the Papuans’ struggle to protect their heritage against all sorts of exploitation.

“West Papua is a part of Indonesia too, but not many people are at all concerned about the situation there – with all the genocides, massacres and gold-minings that are still happening.

“Papua contributes well to the country’s economy with our rich natural resources but what do the people get in return? Nothing. No good education or healthcare. Literally nothing,” Anca said as he looked on the floor of Oscar’s on the Corner, his left hand mindlessly tucking his long, wavy hair behind his ear.

We were sitting at the smoking area outside, away from the rage-filled screams of Reign in Slumber, a local fave who opened the Punky Monday night at Oscar’s – the same gig where Anca’s band was headlining.

It was apparent that Anca was looking for just the right words to explain about West Papua, where he was born and raised for 16 years before moving to East Java. He took a small pause and added: “I figured if I gave the band a catchy name like Koteka, more people would be intrigued about West Papua and would like to learn more about it.”

Anca and his bandmates: Hasan (guitar), Sinyo (bass), Samson (guitar) and Dani (drum) were on a Southeast Asia tour called Sempoyongan (Indonesian for tottering or wobbling) where they played at venues in Thailand, Vietnam and several parts of Malaysia. After this, the boys were headed to the final leg of their tour in Singapore.

“The punk scene in Indonesia is huge. There are so many movements related to the scene too, like art exhibitions, free library initiatives and fundraising for disaster-stricken communities.

“It is exciting for us to check out the punk scene elsewhere, exchange music banters – that is always fun. Hopefully our presence will open the locals’ eyes to the bigger punk scene in the region. We also hope to go back to Indonesia and give the same exposure to Cambodian bands that we met,” he said.

On Monday, they played in Phnom Penh for the first time ever and their enthusiasm was evident during a 12-song set that lasted way, way too short.

I am going to say it: Koteka is the Reason is a big, fat tease. There was no way all five of them could fit on Oscar’s stage so Anca planted himself in the middle of the dancefloor, gripping his microphone hard on one hand, with only the side of his face visible to the crowd. That, to me, was an invitation to mosh.

“Hello Phnom Penh, we are from Indonesia. Thanks for having us,” Hasan the guitarist, taking his place on the left of the stage, said into the microphone, ever-so-sheepishly. He took us by surprise when he launched straight into heavy riffs right after, which riled up the entire pub.

The lads served up a mean hardcore-punk platter and the crowd just gobbled it all up.

Some fifty seconds into the first song, just as the adrenaline started to kick in and the patrons were just about to slamdance their sweaty bodies against each other, the song died abruptly with Hasan capping it with a “thank you” and a satisfied grin on his face.

Get this. Each of their song lasts just a little over one minute. The boys sure know how to leave the crowd hungry for more.

The ‘teasing’ continued with 11 Others including An Ounce of Gold, Ready to Shoot and In the Name of Mountain Gold. It is hard to tell if he was doing it on purpose, but Anca was pretty elusive with his movements when he performs. If you are lucky, you would catch a glimpse of his face for a good two seconds before the dimmed lighting swallows his silhouette again.

The boys completely ignored the many chants of “one more, one more” from the crowd and emptied up the stage within seconds for homegrown death metal act, Doch Chkae.

Commenting on his new Cambodian peers, after the show, Anca said: “They were really good.”

“I don’t know about others but punk has really shaped me up. Prior to this, I do not give a rat’s ass about politics or current affairs. Punk helped me to become more open minded and accepting to differences – skin colour, religion, ideas, sexuality – whatever they may be. Under the big punk umbrella, we unite as one,” he said. (*)

This article was appeared for first time in khmertimeskh.com

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