Journalists Attacked in Two Separate Incidents in Indonesia – West Papua No.1 News Portal
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Journalists Attacked in Two Separate Incidents in Indonesia

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Suwarjono, AJI president (right) - Supplied

Suwarjono, AJI president (right) – Supplied

Jayapura, Jubi – The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI – Indonesia) in strongly criticizing the actions of local police in Indonesia, in two separate incidents where journalists were harassed and attacked. The IFJ and AJI demand an immediate investigation into both incidents.

On December 1, Topilus B Tebai, editor of majalahselangkah.com, was covering the preparations to commemorate the declaration of West Papua independence in Nabire in West Papua. Topilus was taking pictures of police vehicle inspections at the Heroes Cemetery. A police officer, allegedly claiming to be a police leader, kept distracting Topilus. Shortly after two other officers came over to Topilus and stopped him, asking for his camera. The officers continued to question Topilus and one officer tried to kick the journalist. Topilus told the officers he was a journalist and showed his press card, however the officers then started yelling and demanded to speak with the editor-in-chief of majalahselangkah.com.

Topilus protested against the officers’ actions, telling them that they were violating Indonesia’s press law. Officers told Topilus to delete the photos and that he shouldn’t be photographing the police operations. Five more officers approached Topilus and forcibly removed his camera. Police officers then kicked Topilus and forcibly removed him from the Heroes Cemetery.

On the same day, Archicco Guilianno of ABC Australia and Step Vaessen of Al Jazeera were covering a rally organized by Papuan students in Jakarta when they were attacked and intimidated by local police. According to AJI police asked Guilianno to erase her footage of the rally, however when she didn’t immediately comply but identified herself as a journalist, she was beaten by an officer. Vaessen recorded the incident and was then requested by police to delete the footage, when she didn’t comply police forcibly removed the footage.

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Suwarjono, AJI president said of the incident in Jakarta that: “The violence suffered by the two journalists in the demonstration is evidence that the police have not been fully aware of the duties of journalists. Indonesia has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, police must understand the Convention, in order to avoid such an event again.”

Victor Mambor, AJI Papua chairperson said of the incident in West Papua that: “The police chief must educate their officers to understand Indonesia Press Law. Most violations against journalist in West Papua happen to Indigenous Papuan journalists. This incident is a case of police discrimination.”

The IFJ said: “The situation for journalists in Indonesia remains a key area of concern. These incidents highlight the environment that journalists in Indonesia operate within. Following the International Partnership Mission to Indonesia (IPMI) it is clear that journalists across Indonesia continue to be targeted for their work, which is a clear threat to press freedom. We call on the Indonesian government to investigate the situation and engage the local authorities to better understand the rights of journalists and media workers in Indonesia.”

In November, the IFJ participated in the second IPMI, which visited Jayapura in Papua, Makassar in Sulawesi and Jakarta. The mission met with local journalists, civil society groups and government ministers to discuss the challenges for press freedom in Indonesia. Read the IPMI statement here, with a full report to published soon.  (*)

 

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Papuan human right lawyer confirm data on political prisoners by Veronica is valid

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Illustration, Papuan political prisoners in Kalimantan Timur during their transfer from General Attorney sometimes ago. – Jubi/Doc

Document on political prisoners and Nduga casualties are not Vero’s. The coalition law enforcement and human rights in Papua have been doing the research and compilation on it.

Jayapura, Jubi – Gustaf Kawer, Director of Association of Law Enforcement and Human Right Advocates in Papua (PAHAM) said the document on political prisoners revealed by human rights activities Veronica Koman is valid, as the coalition has been working on the record.

“Victims details in Nduga, are also prepared by members of the human rights coalition advocating the victims in Nduga,” he said on Sunday (16/2/2020).

Kawer further explained why they use the terminology of political prisoners in the document. It refers to allegation and article used for accusing the fifty-seven detainees. “So, all prisoners that Vero mentioned about have been accused using the treason article, not public speech or common crime,” he added.

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The document reveals that 57 political prisoners detained in different locations, respectively Jakarta (6 detainees), Balikpapan (7 detainees), Jayapura (1 detainee), Manokwari (5 detainees), Sorong (15 detainees) and Fakdak (23 detainees). Kawer explained that they were arrested because of their activity categorised as part of the independence movement.

This accusation has become a foundation for PAHAM to identify them as political prisoners instead of criminals. He asserted that the Papua Police Chief and all relevant parties should not give a rush statement that might increase the public disappointment in attempting the human rights enforcement in the Land of Papua. According to him, it would be wise if they do a crosscheck on the 57 political prisoners mentioned by Veronica.

“If the data is valid, the regional police must act professionally to solve it,” he said.

Further, he took an example on the human rights violation in Nduga. This case, according to him, should have been followed up like the Paniai case. Those who proven not involved in the riot must be released.

“Similarly, those who involved in the riot should not be accused using the treason article, but another article,” he said.

PAHAM also asks all parties to see the reality of how the perpetrators of racist taunts got the light sentence, while Papuans accused with the substantial article (Treason). He asks all parties in Papua to object the errors by the central government in responding to Veronica’s statement about the human rights violation in Nduga and political prisoners.

Earlier, Veronica Koman handed document consisting the names of 57 political prisoners and 243 details of death victims among civilians in Nduga, Papua to President Joko Widodo in his official visit to Canberra, Australia on Monday (10/2/2020). The human rights violation case in Papua, including Nduga refugees, has been highlighted or became a spotlight of some parties in Australia. (*)

 

Reporter: Angela Flassy

Editor: Pipit Maizier

 

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The defendants were not proven guilty of doing vandalism, says legal counsellor team

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The Advocate Team for Papuans took a picture with the defendants of the mass riot case of 29 August 2019 during the break of the resumed trial at the Jayapura District Court on Wednesday (02/12/2020). – Jubi / Hengky Yeimo

Jayapura, Jubi – The Advocate Team for Papuans read the plea or the memorandum of defence on behalf of their clients charged with vandalism in a mass riot of 29 August 2019 in Jayapura City at the Jayapura District Court on Wednesday (12/2/2020). In the hearing, the counsellor team argue their clients not proven of carrying out such destructive acts that were charged by the public prosecutor.

The Advocate Team for Papuans, in the trial chaired by Judge Maria Magdalena Sitanggang together with two member judges Muliyawan and Abdul Gafur Bungin, read the pledge on behalf of the defendants Mika Asso, Jhoni Weya, Persiapan Kogoya, Yusup Marthen Muay, Ronald Wandik, Elo Hubi, Rofinus Tambanop, Ali Asso, and Yoda Tabuni. In the pledge reading, the counsellor team stated their clients were not proven to have committed crime of damaging goods or objects or shops throughout Jayapura as charged by the public prosecutor.

“By facts, the trial has proved that the defendants did not commit the acts of vandalism as accused by the prosecutor,” said the advocate team chairman Sugeng Teguh Santoso in the pledge reading.

Furthermore, in their pledge, the attorney team emphasised the failure of the public prosecutor in presenting the fact witnesses who could prove the destructive acts by the defendants in a mass riot on 29 August 2019 during the trial. On the contrary, the trial has indicated intimidation and violence against the defendants by investigators during the investigation.

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“The name of suspects against the defendants did not match with evidence, while the investigation did not follow the standard procedure,” said Sugeng during the pledge reading.

Meanwhile, a counsellor team member Frederika Korain said, in the case of her clients, the public prosecutors failed in presenting witnesses who could testify on destructive acts by the defendants on the anti-racism protest of 29 August 2019 in the courtroom.

“A law case is supposed to be supported by strong evidence and case witnesses. However, in this case, there was no strong evidence and qualified case witnesses presented by the public prosecutor,” she said.

When reading the pledge on behalf of her client, Korain stressed that the process of the investigation had involved unjust acts, where the defendants experienced violence and had forced to amid the crime that they had never done.

“In the trial, they have revoked the investigation dossiers which granted by the panel of judges. This defence also underlines this,” said Korain.

Earlier, on Tuesday (11/2/2020), the panel judges of the Jayapura District Court consisting of Alexander Tetelepta and two members Roberto Naibaha and Korneles Waroi had said guilty to three defendants of the mass riot of 29 August 2019.

Oktavianus Hisage was found guilty after naming a defendant of a computer theft at the Papua Election Commission’s Office during the anti-racism protest. He sentenced to six months in prison, minus time off in custody time.

The same panel judges also convicted Yosam Wenda and Yoda Tabuni to pledged guilty of stealing a keyboard at the Secretariat Office of Dharma Wanita Papua on 29 August 2019. Both convicted to six months sentence, minus their detention time.

Their legal counsel Frederika Korain said after the trial on Wednesday, “We are still thinking about whether to appeal the verdict or not.” (*)

 

Reporter: Hengky Yeimo

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Legal counsel Warinussy: We refute the prosecutor’s indictment and will submit an exception

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Three students Erik Aliknoe, Pende Mirin and Yunus Aliknoe were preparing to attend the indictment reading trial by the prosecutor at the Manokwari District Court. -Jubi/Hans Arnold Kapisa

Manokwari, Jubi – The legal counsel of three students who respectively arrested following the anti-racism protest in Manokwari on 3 September 2019 said he is ready to submit an exception against the public prosecutor’s indictment in the inaugural trial session held at the Manokwari District Court on Thursday (13/2/2020).

The three students took to the court after their involvement as orators and negotiators in a rally to protest the racism against Papuans at Gunung Salju Amban, Manokwari, on 3 September 2019, which attended by hundreds of protestors.

In the indictment, the prosecutor declared that the three defendants had said provocatives and resistance words against the police who were on duty securing the demonstration.

As the results of their provocative words, the protest mob had moved to fight the police by throwing water mineral bottles and stones to the police, causing injuries to the police.

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Meanwhile, Yan Christian Warinussy as the legal counsel team chief said his clients Erik Aliknoe, Pende Mirin and Yunus Aliknoe had not been able to accept the prosecutor’s indictment. Regarding this, his team will submit an exception in the next hearing session.

“We ask for a week to study the indictment as well as to prepare an exception,” said Warinussy.

On the other hand, Benoni A Kombado in the indictment stated that the three defendants had violated the public speech as regulated in article 106 of the Criminal Code in conjunction with article 55 paragraph 1 to 1e of the Criminal Code.

On the request by the legal counsel of the three defendants, the Chair Judge Sonny L.B. Loemurry suspended the trial and said it would be resumed on Thursday, 20 February 2020 with the agenda of hearing the exception by the legal counsel on the prosecutor’s indictment. (*)

 

Reporter: Hans Kapisa

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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