Tag Archives: political trials

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]

Journalists face difficulties when trying to report about the trial of Buchtar Tabuni

JUBI
25 September 2012[Photo at the top of the report shows several of the police on guard, all of whom are heavily armed.]

The police who guarded the courthouse during the trial of Buchtar Tabuni made it difficult for some of the journalists wanting to cover the case to gain access to the court.

Benny Mawel of JUBI said: ‘I showed my press card but the police  insisted that I open my bag and take everything in it out for them to examine’ He said that access to the court had been made difficult.

Journalists were interrogated and the police demanded to see the contents of their cases. ‘This happened not only to me but to other journalists,’ said Benny Mawel, ‘even though we had clearly displayed our press cards.’

This did not happen during the earlier hearings of the trial.

A journalist  from Papua Pos Daily, Rudolf,  also said he had been heavily investigated. His bag had also been searched. He said that before entering the court, he hung his press cord round his neck but even so, the police examined the contents of his bag.

While on the one hand regretting the  measures taken against journalists by the police, Viktor Mambor, chairman of the Jayapura branch of the Alliance of Independent Journalists, AJI. said he hoped that journalists would understand what the police were doing.

”They certainly acted excessively and this should not be necessary this if journalists have clearly shown their press cards. But at the same time,’ he said,  ‘I could understand what they were doing because during an earlier discussion I had with the chief of police, there was concern about the fact that the credentials of some of the journalists were suspect because of recent indications about the involvement of certain pressmen in the recent violent conflict  in Papua.’

He went on to say that some time around July this year, a journalist had been interrogated by the police because he had reported that the Morning Star Flag had been flown on some occasions. In Papua, such reports only complicate matters because it stigmatises people, thereby legitimising excessive measures taken by the security forces. As Papuans, we have to understand this,’ he said.

Translated by TAPOL]

Buchtar Tabuni sentenced to eight months; tight security round the courthouse.

 

 

Bintang Papua
24 September 2012
The former chairman of the KNPB – National Committee for West Papua – was sentenced to eight months in prison, having been charged with inflicting damage on the prison where he was held. The sentence was  less than the demand of the prosecutor who wanted the accused to be sentenced to one year. The eight month sentence will be reduced by the time the accused has already spent behind bars.Aggravating circumstances were that he had previously  been sentenced and that his actions caused anxiety among the people, while the mitigating factor was that he had behaved politely in court.

Following the announcement of the verdict, the defence team said that they had not yet decided whether to launch an appeal against the sentence. ‘We are still thinking about how we will respond,’ said Gustav Kawar.

The defence team said that the sentence was light and the accused should have been released. However, according to Gustav Kawar. the panel of judges had  given him a sentence as the result of external interference.
———————

Bintang Papua, 25 September 2012

After further consideration, the defence team said that the verdict had not been decided independently and had been seriously influenced by the authorities, Gustav Kawar told  journalists. This influence had come from the security forces, that is to say the army and the police This was the factor that had caused the judges to hesitate before reaching their verdict. There were also doubts because of the fact that the testimony from several of the witnesses was contradictory. Nor had it been proven that the accused had been acting  in consort with others.

According to Gustav Kawar, the Criminal Procedural Code (KUHP) stipulates that  if  any element in the charge has been proven to be invalid, the entire charge must be declared invalid. The accused as well as his defence team said that they would consider what to do in the coming seven days.

Security measures round  the court

On the day the verdict was announced, around 230 security forces from the local and district forces, including personnel  from the police intelligence unit, Brimob  were among those standing guard.

The chief of police said that several  elements of the security forces had taken part in security at the time of the various hearings.  He asserted that  they had discovered sharp weapons among the crowd of people outside the courthouse following the earlier hearings but after measures had been taken, this did not occur during the latter hearings.

[Translated by TAPOL]