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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.

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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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The body of crashed MAF aircraft found 13 meters below water

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Lake Sentani. -Ist

Jayapura, Jubi – Roberth Tunyanan from KNKT (the National Transportation Safety Committee) Papua said the body of a pilot killed in the crashed aircraft was found in Lake Sentani on Tuesday morning.

“I received the report stating the Rescue Team had found the body of MAF pilot flying the aircraft PK-MEC in Lake Sentani,” Tunyanan as quoted by Antara News Agency on Tuesday morning (12/5/2020).

The report also revealed that her body found at a depth of 13 meters trapped in the cockpit.

The website maf.org acknowledges Joyce Lin as a pilot and IT specialist. As a pilot, she flew the aircraft to help people living in remote and isolated areas by providing medical evacuation service for saving a life. She also transported logistic supplies for community development, missionaries, teachers, and humanitarian workers to these remote locations. Meanwhile, as an IT specialist, Joyce work to set up and maintain the computer networks for missionaries and humanitarian workers to contact their communities and to access information on the Internet.

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The aircraft controlled by Joyce Lin reportedly crashed around Lake Sentani that located between Jayapura Municipality and Jayapura Regency in Papua Province. The aeroplane took off at 6.27 a.m. local time and lost contact two minutes after take-off. (*)

 

Reporter: Victor Mambor

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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West Papuans rally calling Australia stands against human rights violations in West Papua

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Melbourne West Papua community photographed in Federation Square after the solidarity rally. -Jubi

Melbourne, Jubi – Dozens of people stands in solidarity with West Papuans in front of the State Library Victoria on Saturday (14/09/2019) for calling the Australian Government to against human rights violations occurred in West Papua.

Further, the Melbourne West Papua Community is also asking the Australian Government to urges the Indonesian Government to allow the UN Right Commissioner Michele Bachelet to conduct a fact finding mission into human rights violations.

Mr. Novenus Obamak, the Chairman of the Melbourne West Papua Community, through a press release told Ms Bachelet has been trying to gain access to West Papua since 2018, but until now she has been refused to entry by the Government of Indonesia. “Contrary to claims made in Australia that the Indonesian Government is facilitating Ms Bachelet’s visit to West Papua, the Indonesian Government has been blocking her access,” said Obamak.

He also urged the Indonesian Government to restore the internet access in West Papua and allow international journalists free access to West Papua. “On behalf of the Melbourne West Papua community and our brothers and sisters in West Papua, I strongly urge Indonesia to withdraw its more than 6000 non-local military forces from West Papua to allow the situation there to stabilize,” said Mr. Obamak.

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He also said, “We need to see the end of the criminalization of human rights defenders and students in West Papua. Human rights defenders and concerned students should be supported from their stand against lawlessness rather than being made out to be the criminals.”

Meanwhile, the solidarity rally was opened with speeches from speakers representing the Australian first nation, local councilors, West Papuan leaders and students. Speakers called the Australian Government to pay more attention to what have been happening and West Papua and to take action to end oppression and human rights violations against West Papuans.

Moreland Councillor Sue Bolton said in her speech that Australia could do a lot to stop the oppressions and violations in West Papua. “What Australia does will going have to impact to West Papua. Australia through different government has tragically supported the Indonesian Government to violate West Papuans through training Indonesian military forces, mining companies that contribute to the killing and torture of many West Papuans. Meanwhile, Darebin Councillor Mark Riley in his speech emphasized the needs of open access for journalists to West Papua.

In the meantime, Papuan student Cyndi Makabori said as young West Papuan student who’s living in Australia, she is fortunate for not experiencing discrimination, torture, detention or mockery like other Papuan students in Indonesia. She also criticizes that during 57 years of integration, Indonesia has committed more than five hundred thousand of murders. It means Indonesia has failed to civilize and educate its citizens about the value of humanity and human rights. Finally, in her speech she thanks to non-Papuan supporters who stand in solidarity with West Papuans. She acknowledges the spokesperson of Free West Papua Surya Anta Ginting who’s the first Indonesian citizen arrested for treason.

After speeches, the crowd goes for a rally towards Federation Square. During the rally, they continuously chanted “Papua Merdeka,” “Free West Papua”, “Kami bukan merah putih” and “Indonesia Out”.
A supporter from Vanuatu who wish anonymous said she joined the rally to show her solidarity to West Papuans. “In solidarity as Pacific region. We are Melanesians; and all together we are strong. We support sovereignty as an obligation to the international laws.”

The West Papua solidarity rally in Melbourne marked a series of peaceful protests conducted in dispersed cities in Australia including Canberra, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns. (*)

 

Reporter: Pipit Maizier

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PNG governor wants West Papua referendum

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Powes Parkop, the governor of Papua New Guinea’s National Capital District. Photo: RNZ /Johnny Blades

Papua, Jubi – The governor of Papua New Guinea’s capital district wants Indonesia to allow West Papua to undertake an independence referendum.

In a statement, Powes Parkop also backed a call from Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers to raise the issue of human rights abuses in Papua at next week’s Forum leaders summit.

Mr Parkop said the crisis in Papua had escalated due to Pacific nations letting fear of Indonesia dictate their approach to it.

He said the Melanesian Spearhead Group should also accept an application for full membership by the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.

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“Indonesia must realize that when it choose to restore the rights and dignity of the West Papuan people it will unleash great joy.”

Mr Parkop said he had delivered the same message on West Papua to PNG Prime Minister James Marape and Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogovare.

According to him, he planned to also deliver it to the governments of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the US, adding that he had requested a meeting with Indonesia’s government.

Jakarta says Papua’s incorporation into the Indonesian is final and non-negotiable.

Papuan Liberation Movement welcomes foreign ministers’ call

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua has welcomed a resolution by Pacific foreign ministers to push for a UN Human Rights office visit to Papua.

In January, the UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said Indonesia’s government agreed in principle for a team from her office to visit Papua.

However, Pacific Forum members are concerned that the invitation is not being honoured. Forum foreign ministers have called for the timing of the visit by to be finalised by both parties.

They also seek for a resulting report on the Papua situation to be presented before the next Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting in 2020.

The Liberation Movement’s chairman, Benny Wenda, urged Pacific Forum leaders to endorse this call when they meet for their annual summit in Tuvalu next week.

Mr Wenda said such a stand reflected the values at the heart of the Blue Pacific campaign to develop a region of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion and prosperity where all Pacific people can lead free healthy and productive lives.

Accordnig to him, Pacific civil society networks continue to provide support to Forum Leaders and Government regarding the human rights issues of West Papua. (*)

 

Source: RNZ

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