Tag Archives: journalist killing

Violence and intimidation of journalists in Papua in 2012

27 December 2012
The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) has recorded twelve cases of violence and intimidation against journalists Papua  during 2012,which is a significant increase as compared with 2011, when there were seven cases.
Journalists in Jayapura hold Demo to Reject Violence Against Journalists. (Jubi / Arjuna)
Journalists in Jayapura hold Demo to Reject Violence Against Journalists. (Jubi / Arjuna)

The first case was violence and intimidation against journalists in Papua and West Papua wanting to cover the trial of Forkorus Yaboisembut and his colleagues at the district court in Jayapura on 8 February when they were  physically intimidated, pulled and pushed as they were entering the courtroom. Those responsible were members of the police force in Jayapura. The victims were: Katerina Litha of Radio KBR 68 H  Jakarta. Robert Vanwi of  Suara Pemnaharuan, Jakarta, Josrul Sattuan of TV One, Irfan of Bintang Papua, and Cunding Levi of Tempo.

The second case was against Radang Sorong, a journalist with Cahaja Papua  and Paskalis  of Media Papua, from February until May in West Papua by the police chief of Manokwari, who were preventing journalists from reporting expressions of support for dialogue and a referendum in Papua. Three local journalists said that they had been  under pressure while writing critical reports about political matters, law and human rights violations and political prisoners. One of the journalists from Manokwari was instructed to restrict his reporting about political, legal matters and human rights violations.

The third case was in Abepura on 20 March when Josrul from TV One, Marcel from Media Indonesia, Irfan from Bintang Papua and Andi Irfan of Radio KBR 68 H Jakarta were attacked by members of KNPB, the National Committee of West Papua who were involved in an action outside the Post Office in Abepura. On a separate occasion, outside Polimak, Jayapura, Timbar Gultom of  Papua Pos was ordered to identify himself. When he replied that he  was from Papua Pos,  the people did not believe him and started chasing him. He was able to hide in a house nearby.

The fifth case  was when three journalists in the district of Jayapura, Yance of Radio Kenambai Ombar, Putu of KBR 68 H Jakarta and Suparti of Cenderawasih Pos were verbally intimidated and chased  by some members of the KNPB.on 20 March.

The sixth case was when a journalist from TV One, Josrul Sattuan was beaten by an unidentified person when he was trying to report on the situation in Jayapura following a series of  violent incidents and shooting incidents that occurred in various in places in Jayapura. The physical attack occurred at Abepura Circle on Thursday evening on 7th June.

The seventh case was when a journalist from Metro TV, Abdul Muin who was in Manokwari was attacked by someone from the Fishing Service in who intimidated him with an air gun.The victim told JUBI that the incident started when a member of the Fishing Service sent him a brief message on 8th June asking him and other journalists to cover an incident  of bombing a hoard of fish by a group of  people who were being held in the Manokwari Prison.

The eighth case occurred in Timika on 20 September.The victim was Mohammad Yamin, a contributor to  RCTI, Simson Sambuari of Metro TV, Husyen Opa of Salam Papua and the photographer for Antara News Agency, and David Lalang of Salam Papua.They were prevented from recording some events in the Pamako Harbour.

The ninth case involved Oktavianus  Pogau of suarapua.com and stringer for Jakarta Globe.  This occurred in Manokwari on 22 October. Okto were beaten up by several members of the police force, some in uniforms and others  not wearing their uniforms, who were battling with members of the KNPB in Manokwari.  The victims was thought to be part of a crowd of people involved in a demonstration, even though they had clearly identified themselves.

The tenth case was  when Sayied Syech Boften of Papua Barat Pos was attacked on 1 November by a person who identified himself as a member of the local legislative assembly, Hendrik G. Wairara. The victim was threatened and intimidated among others things by phone. The victim was warned to stop reporting about corruption in a project  involving the extension of the electrification system  and the maintenance of BBM machinery in Raja Ampat District. On the same day, the assistant of the chairman of the the local DPRD flew into a rage while he was at the editorial office of Papua Barat Pos.

The eleventh case occurred on 8 November when Esau Miram of Cenderawasih Pos  was intimidated as he was reporting on a gathering at the office of the Commander of the   XVII Nilitary Command and all the heads of departments in Papua.They were accused of being terrorists even though Esau had shown his  identity card as a journalist.

The twelfth case occurred on 1 December  when Benny Mawel of JUBI was interrogated by members of the police force  near Abepura Circle  for reporting about a large crowd of people who were carrying banners while marching from Abepura to Waena. Benny showed his journalist identity card, but a group of around ten people accused him of not being a journalist. As he was travelling on his motorbike  towards a repair centre, he was followed by some people there who starting asking whether he knew where Benny was.

Victor Mambor added the following: AJI reported two cases, the shooting of a Twin Otter  plane belonging to Trigana Air by an unidantified person in Mulia Airfield, Puncak Jaya on 8th April which killed Leiron Kogoya  who was first said to be a journalist of Papua Pos, Nabire and then the arrest and deportation of a Czech man, Petra Zamencnik who identified himself as a journalist with finecentrum.com. On 9 February, there was inconsistently about the status of the victim, whether he was a journalist or not, or whether he was involved in journalistic activities.

Suroso also confirmed that when the identity of Leiron  was checked, it turns out that  he was not at the time engaged in journalistic activities.but had gone to Mulia for personal reasons. Leiron had not registered himself as a journalist of  Papua Pos Nabire.  As regards Petr Zamencnik. he was unable to prove that he was a journalist. AJI Jayapura  sought confirmation with finecentrum.com about his status  and he was described as being the editor for financial affairs in the Czech Republic.

[Translated by TAPOL]

Activists threatened with twenty years jail for organising a nonviolent march about media freedom in West Papua

by Alex Rayfield

28 September 2012

Two West Papuan activists currently in police detention in Yapen Island in West Papua are being threatened with twenty years jail by the Indonesian police for organising a nonviolent march in support of the United Nations International Day of Indigenous People which this year celebrated the role of indigenous media.

Edison Kendi (37 years) and Yan Piet Maniamboy (35 years) from the pro-independence group West Papua National Authority were arrested by Indonesian police on 9August 2012.

The activists were leading a march of approximately 350 people in support of the International Day for Indigenous People. Police used force to break up the march. According to witnesses they beat up several Papuans and repeatedly discharged their weapons into the air. Sixteen people were arrested at the scene and a laptop, hard disk, modem, digital camera, documents and three Morning Star flags were later seized by police.

Banner at freedom of expression rally rejecting Indonesian rule in Papua on the International Day for Indigenous People. Photo via Alex Rayfield from West Papua Media stringers in Yapen.

Those arrested were subsequently released except for Edison Kendi and Yan Piet Maniamboy who remained in police custody. A local stringer told West Papua Media and New Matilda that Indonesian police investigators Sudjadi Waluyo and Arip Marinto have charged the two men with rebellion (makar) under section 155 of the Indonesian Criminal Code. Both defendants have been told that the police will seek jail sentences of 20 years each.

The controversial charge of makar has come under intense criticism from Papuan lawyers Yan Christian Warinusy from the Legal Aid Institute in Manokwari and Gustaf Kawer and Olga Hamadi from the Commission for the Disappeared (Kontras Papua). The lawyer argues that the charge of makar has been used as a tool of political repression to deny nonviolent activists their right to free speech. The law actually dates back to Dutch times and was used extensively by the former dictator to repress dissent in Indonesia. Suharto was overthrown by a nonviolent student movement in May 1998 but the law has remained on the statute books. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have also called for the makar provisions to be struck from the criminal code and all political pisoners in Papua to be released.

The WPNA march was organised to commemorate the International Day of Indigenous Peoples. Ironically the United Nations theme for this year was to celebrate indigenous media. Yapen is extremely isolated. International media is banned in West Papua and local media is censored. So the very fact that story got out in the first place is testimony to the growing power and skill of indigenous media activists in West Papua.

Kendi and Maniamboy told New Matilda and West Papua Media by text message from their jail cell that they want the international community to help them. “We don’t want Autonomy or to remain with Indonesia. We want to be free! Don’t continue to let us be killed and thrown in jails” they said. WPNA media activist and Governor of Jayapura (under WPNA’s parallel political structure), Marthen Manggaprouw said his organisation wants the Indonesian government to negotiate with the independence movement to resolve the conflict. “The basic rights of indigenous Papuans are not respected in West Papua. There is no democratic space for us Papuans. We are criminalised simply for expressing our opinion” said Manggaprouw.

The men number amongst some 100 West Papuan political prisoners currently languishing in Indonesian jails. Although the Indonesian constitution technically guarantees freedom of speech in reality basic rights are routinely denied to the indigenous Papuan population. Papuans calling for genuine political freedoms are vigorously repressed by Indonesian police and military.

This is the original article to one which appeared in New Matilda

RSF: JOURNALIST KILLED AS GUNMEN ATTACK PLANE AT PAPUA PROVINCE AIRPORT

Reporters Without Borders

PUBLISHED ON WEDNESDAY 11 APRIL 2012.

Reporters Without Borders offers its condolences to the family and friends of Leiron Kogoya, a journalist with the newspapers Pasific Post and Papua Pos Nabire, part of the Pacific Post group, who was killed in an attack by gunmen on a plane at Mulia airport in the province of Papua three days ago.

“Although the journalist did not appear to be the target of the attack, it illustrates the insecurity that prevails in the region, where at least two other journalists were killed late last year,” the press freedom organization said.

“Covering the Papua region is highly risky for journalists. Leiron Kogoya was among those courageous reporters who strive to keep the world informed about the region, which has been the scene of violent clashes. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.”

“We expect the authorities to shed light on the attack. Contradictory information about the identity of those behind the shooting said to have been provided by security forces to journalists indicates that an independent investigation must be carried out as soon as possible.”

The plane, a Twin Otter of the Indonesian airline Trigana Air, landed at Mulia at about 8 am when at least five gunmen opened fire. The pilot and co-pilot, who were both hit, lost control of the aircraft, which then crashed into one of the terminal buildings. Four people were wounded. Kogoya, was fatally shot in the neck.

The 35-year-old reporter was flying to Mulia in the Puncak Jaya district to cover local elections in the provincial capital, Jayapura.

Photo by: Agus Fakaubun

The news website westpapuamedia.info quoted the head of public relations for the Papua police, Commander Yohanes Nugroho Wicaksono, as saying the gunmen were hiding in the hills 50 metres from the airport. It said police had not yet been able to identify the perpetrators or the type of guns they used.

According to military intelligence, the separatist group Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka, or OPM, in Indonesian) was behind the attack, while local police said they had no information about the identity of the attackers.

Indonesia is ranked 146th of 179 countries in the 2011-2012 world press freedom index compiled by Reporters Without Borders.

West Papua new Pacific media black spot

Cartoon from the Pacific Journalism Review report. © Malcolm Evans 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

  • Listen/Download: MP3 

MELBOURNE (Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat / Pacific Media Watch): A new report on Pacific media freedom says the most serious cases of media freedom violations in the Pacific in the past year occurred in West Papua.

The report by the Auckland-based Pacific Journalism Review says repression in the province has now also reached the news media.

It says violence against journalists in West Papua has replaced censorship in Fiji as the most urgent media freedom issue in the region.

Presenter: Geraldine Coutts
Speaker: Associate Professor David Robie, director, Pacific Media Centre

ROBIE: But there are very good networks of sources of information and there is also a major media  freedom organisation in Indonesia, the Alliance of Independent Journalists which has a very strong chapter in West Papua and feeds information very much to international media freedom organisations, because it’s not only Papuan journalists that face such repression, but it’s also Indonesian journalists working in the area.

COUTTS: Alright, can you just give us some examples of what’s actually happening, the conditions under which the journalists are now working?

ROBIE: Well, there was a big focus on the troubles in West Papua, in fact really since the early part of August and, of course, last week, at Freeport mine, there has been a shooting of protesters. The mine workers were protesting over the working conditions of the mine, but that was really a focus on the general sort of situation that journalists actually have to report on.

Our report largely dealt with the year which would normally have ended about July, but because of the major situation in West Papua at the time, we also included August. But essentially in the past year, there’ve been two killings of journalists, five abductions or attempted abductions, 18 assaults, including the stabbing of a journalist by two people on a motorbike and so on. And there have been repeated cases of intimidation and aggression against journalists and then, of course, there’s the general pattern of censorship by civil and military authorities.

In West Papua, not only the general sort of situation facing journalists, such as criminal libel, but there is a crime of makar, or subversion, of which is a concern for journalists too.

COUTTS: So that’s on a day-to-day basis and what about the public at large, are they similarly being affected?

ROBIE: Well yes, I mean that’s really a microcosm, if you like, of the broader situation. At the moment, there’s the third Papuan People’s Congress that just opened yesterday in Jayapura and there’s a general mood of dissension right through Papua.

COUTTS: And how did you conduct your research Dr. Robie?

ROBE: There is basically a network of people who have contributed to this report. Alex Perrottet, who is main co-author. He is Pacific Media Watch contributing editor. But we actually had quite a number of people that contributed to this report and they’re named in the report, including Nick Chesterfield, who is from the West Papuan Media network. He’s the editor there.

COUTTS: And the most recent incident was a couple of arrests by Indonesian authorities in Jayapura for being in possession of material that featured the banned West Papuan Morning Star flag of independence?

ROBIE: Yes, and that’s a constant sort of threat against all Papuans. In fact, I believe there’s been a call not to raise the Morning Star flag at this Papuan Congress this week, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens during that period.

COUTTS: Well, it’s a rather large report, West Papua obviously features. What countries did you look at?

ROBIE: Well, we looked at most of the Pacific region with the exception of the American territories, but I think it’s the most comprehensive report that’s actually been on media freedom in the Pacific. It was a 39 page report, but it’s focused largely on the Pacific Island Forum countries, including Australia and New Zealand, of course, but largely focusing on the island countries. But we also looked at the French territories, we looked at East Timor as well as West Papua. We made a particular feature of West Papua, although, of course, there are major sections in the report that deal elsewhere with Fiji, Vanuatu, in particular, that are ongoing freedom concerns.

COUTTS: And how did the French territories rate?

ROBIE: The most interesting thing there, of course, there’s been a development that’s been since the report and that’s the feature of Tahiti Presse, the state-funded sort of newsagency which is for the chop, in terms of budget cut backs and so on. But that’s quite a blow, not only for Tahiti, but also the rest of the Pacific, because the Tahiti Presse actually provided a very good English language service for the region and so that’s really going to hamper the coverage from that part of the Pacific.

In New Caledonia, it’s been more of an issue of the rearrangement of the French media laws and how that’s affecting the territories. But over the past year, there are no particular major incidents involving, say individuals or threats against individuals or such incidents.

So outside West Papua, of course, Fiji remains the overriding concern for the region.

COUTTS: When you look at media freedom, what were the premises, I mean what did you declare was media freedom and that which fell below that particular bar?

ROBIE: Well, we looked at quite a range of issues, we basically looked at areas of censorship, areas of danger and threat to individual journalists, we looked at the legal frameworks affecting all the territories, the report includes quite a chart doing a comparative study of all the territories in the region. We looked at areas such as criminal libel; and particular legal threats that journalists may face. We looked at institutional censorship and we looked at the passage of laws, such as freedom of information. Of course, the Cook Islands is the only Pacific Islands country that has freedom of information legislation, that came in 2009 and it hasn’t been working as well as it might, but at least it’s a chink or opening for the whole region. But in contrast, to say Australia, for example, where there’s been a whole host of reforms and the freedom of information laws that have been generally quite beneficial or in the process of making those changes. It’s been a slow process in the Pacific.

COUTTS: And also there’s the accusation by Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, that she doesn’t think that she’s getting a fair go from one of the media outlets here. Was that something that was included?

ROBIE: Not specifically that, but we did look at quite a lot of the legal changes in Australia and we also looked at the consequences of the phone hacking scandal in Britain, News of the World and with the inquiry that’s being set up in Australia. So we looked at those sort of patterns, we looked at individual arrests and the shield laws, all of those sort of issues were canvassed in Australia.

COUTTS: And because the reason I ask you to define what you determined was media freedom was because there are some countries, some of the smaller countries that the government’s have something to say if their press release aren’t published. So the media outlets have to do it whether they want to or not. Does that come across the path of media freedom or lack thereof?

ROBIE: Yes, well I mean and we’ve particularly looked at the dangers of Fiji, particularly the censorship that takes place since the media decree was imposed and what an extremely poor model that is for the whole region and very threatening to other countries, because let’s face it, we’ve had pressure on journalists, well ever since the 1987 coups, and politicians by and large around the Pacific don’t have a high opinion of the media and have a very poor understanding of the role of the media in any country that is a democracy. And so many politicians have actually looked rather with some admiration at what Fiji has done and would love to have the opportunity to do something similar. So the longer the censorship regime continues in Fiji, well, it’s really a cancer on media freedom for the whole region.

COUTTS: Well, you have a vested interest, of course, recent talk where the next PINA meeting might be held in Fiji, because PNG can’t host it. So I just wonder what that actually says about yourself who’ve been banned and kicked out, Sean Dorney, and Barbara Dreaver ? Three of the region’s senior journalists won’t be able to attend the meeting like that?

ROBIE: Well, I’ve never been banned. I’ve had more problems with the French authorities than the Pacific. I lived in Fiji for five years and was head of the journalism program there. But the point you’re making is actually a very serious one and I think it points to a major division among journalists and in the media industry itself about the role of Fiji and how Fiji should be dealt with. Of course there are those who argue that the Pacific Island News Association should have got out of Fiji long ago and set up somewhere else, where it can actually operate with relative freedom. But there are others who argue that well, “Hang on, we’ve got more chance of actually forcing some kind of change on the regime in Fiji by actually having contact and dialogue and having a chance to actually sort of reason”. And I don’t think those sorts of divisions have really been resolved. The plans for having this conference there in March, next year, I think are very fraught and a lot of dangers involved with this. It will make a mockery of such a conference if many people can’t come simply because they’re going to be barred by the regime.

COUTTS: Now just to wrap it up David. The 39-page report overall, what’s the state of censorship across the Pacific, is it a good or bad one?

ROBIE: Well, it’s a worrying one I’d say, it’s a worrying one, but the report does make a comparison, I guess, and this is where West Papua’s quite important. But you have to put things in context globally and when you look at countries like the Philippines, where journalists are murdered with impunity and you go back to the massacre back in November, 2009. In that sort of context, the Pacific’s not too bad. However, it needs to have a very vigilant campaign by advocacy groups and a constant watch, because essentially politicians are not very favourable with the media and they would like any opportunity to have a clamp down, so the more so the more that this is put under the spotlight, the better.

(cc) Creative Commons

Full Pacific media freedom report

West Papua ‘biggest threat’ to Pacific media freedom, says Pacific Journalism Review report

 

13 October 2011

West Papua ‘biggest threat’ to Pacific media freedom, says PJR report

The killing and abduction of journalists in Indonesian-occupied West Papua has been highlighted in a special new report on Pacific media freedom over the past year by Pacific Journalism Review.

http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/research/pacific-media-freedom-2011-status-report

“By far the most serious case of media freedom violations in the Pacific is in West Papuafar from international scrutiny,” says the journal in an editorial.

The 39-page report on the state of media freedom in the Pacific in 2011 notes that in August, in particular, “sustained repression has also hit the news media and journalists”.

At least two journalists have been killed in West Papua, five abducted and 18 assaulted in the past year.

West Papua has replaced Fiji as the most urgent media freedom issue in the region, says the journal. The report has been published just as regional protests have been voiced over the brutal suppression of a strike at the giant Freeport copper mine in the past week in which at least one person was reported shot dead.

Ten West Papuan activists were arrested by Indonesian authorities in Jayapura last week for being in possession of material that featured the banned West Papuan Morning Star flag of independence.

Poengky Indarti, executive director of the Indonesian human rightsmonitor Imparsial, said recently: “Freedoms of expression, association and assembly are routinely violated in Papua, which seriously fuels tensions. Besides, gross human rights abuses, such as acts of torture, remain unaccounted for.”

This free media research report, compiled by Pacific Media Watch contributing editor Alex Perrottet and Pacific Media Centre director Dr David Robie with a team of contributors, including West Papua Media editor Nick Chesterfield, is the most comprehensive and robust media freedom dossier on the region published in recent years

“The state of Pacific media freedom is fragile in the wake of serious setbacks, notably in Fiji, with sustained pressure from a military backed regime, and in Vanuatu, where blatant intimidation has continued with near impunity,” says the report.

“Apart from Fiji, which has a systemic and targeted regime of censorship, most other countries are attempting to free themselves from stifling restrictions on the press.

“Coupled with governments that are sluggish to introduce freedom of the information legislation and ensure region-wide constitutional rights to free speech are protected, there are limited media councils and advocacy bodies with few resources to effectively lobby their governments.

In New Zealand, another major threat to media freedom has been the consolidation of contemporary transnational corporate ownership patterns.

Researchers Merja Myllylahti and Dr Wayne Hope demonstrate in another special report on global capital and media communication ownership that NZ media corporations treat news as a commodity and news organisations as revenue generators.

This is the third in a series of media ownership papers published in PJR and initiated by Bill Rosenberg’s mapping of media ownership (2007, 2009). This ongoing project has now been adopted by AUT University.
The report authors point to the closure of the 20-year-old influential business and politics newspaper The Independent and the phasing out of the 130-year-old cooperative news agency New Zealand Press Association (NZPA) as key symptoms of the malaise: ‘Consequently, public media space is shrinking as the practice of journalism declines.’

This edition of PJR is themed on “Media, cultural diversity and community”, and includes articles on Australia’s Reporting Diversity Project, the Yumi Piksa community television project in Papua New Guinea, a study of the use of te reo Māori by Fairfax-owned Suburban Newspapers in New Zealand by the Te Rōpu Whariki research team, reporting of Islam in Australia, the Australian country press, and the development of a cross-cultural communications degree in Oman by a New Zealand university.

Book reviews include investigative journalist Nicky Hager’s Other People’s Wars: New Zealand in Afghanistan, Iraq and the war on terror.

This edition, published in partnership with the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism in Sydney is being published next week on October 20.

Edition editors: Professor Wendy Bacon, Dr Catriona Bonfiglioli and Associate Professor David Robie.
More information on the Pacific Media Centre website: www.pmc.aut.ac.nz

 

Contacts: Dr David Robie (Pacific Media Centre) + 64 9 921 9999 x7834

Alex Perrottet (Pacific Media Watch) + 64 9 921 9388
Email:
pmc@aut.ac.nz