Tag Archives: media killings

LP3BP protests after TV journalist beaten by local district chief in South Sorong

JUBI, 9 September 2011

Once again, violence has been used in Papua, this time against a television journalist  working for the local TV station in South Sorong, TOP TV. Mufriadi who reports on the district of South Sorong was severely beaten  by the bupati – district chief – of South Sorong in West Papua while covering an assault on the office of the district chief by local people.

‘We received information from Mufriardi by phone who said he had been attacked and beaten by the bupati, Otto Ihalauw and his assistant, Marthen who is a member of the police force, along with four other policemen.,’ Amir Siregar  told the press.

Siregar said that  Ihalauw’s action was a crime and he should be detained by the local police force.’It was a criminal act and he can be detained without waiting for the permission of the President, in accordance with the law on regional governance and guidance for police investigations.’

Siregar said that after Mufriardi was beaten, his handy camera was seized  and he was taken to a room at the bupati’s office for questioning.

Mufriadi  explained that he had  received a request by phone to cover the assault being made on the bupati’s office by people who own traditional rights to the  land .’But as soon as  I arrived, I was summoned by  the bupati’s assistant who is a member of the police force. I was taken to the bupati’s office. The bupati came out of his car and slapped me in the face, after which I was subjected to beating by  his assistants which lasted for about ten minutes.I have no idea why I was beaten  but I was subjected to verbal abuse and then they asked me to write a report along the lines that they wanted.’

Viktor Mambor, chairman of AJI, the Independent Alliance of Journalists in Papua,  said that he would support moves by TOP TV to seek legal action and report the incident to the authorities.


The Executive-Director of LP3BH, the Manokwari-based human rights organisation has made a strong protest against the action by the bupati against Otto Ihalauw. Yan Christian Warinussy described the action of the bupati as a crime which should be investigated in accordance with Law/1981.

He went on to describe the bupati’s action as an act of intimidation against the activities of journalists as stipulated in the law on the press.as well as a crime under the Indonesian Criminal Code. He called on the local police chief to arrest the bupati  and his assistants  as well as the members of the police force who were  involved in the incident.

Such activities should not be allowed to happen again, said Warinussy and he said that speaking on behalf of human rights activists throughout West Papua, he called on the chief of police in South Sorong to take firm action against the criminal actions of the bupati. He said that the people of West Papua should strongly condemn such attempts of officials to take the law into their own hands,

Warinussy also called on DAP, the Customary Council of  Papua  and all components of the Papuan people tocall for those responsible for these criminal acts to be brought to account, because a bad precedent  has been set for the activities of the governments in South Sorong and throughout the province of West Papua.
He said that the governor of West Papua should also report the incident to the minister of the interior, to ensure that the matter in dealt with in accordance with the laws in force. All journalists working in West Papua should give their full support to Mufriadi in this matter.

AHRC: Killing of a journalist in Papua explained as suicide by local police


Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-128-2010

8 September 2010
INDONESIA: Killing of a journalist in Papua explained as suicide by local police

ISSUES: Human rights defenders; freedom of expression; extrajudicial killings

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission has been informed about the killing of a journalist and human rights defender in Merauke, Papua, Indonesia. Mr. Ardiansyah Matra’is (25 years old) was found dead on July 30, 2010 floating naked in the Maro River after he disappeared two days previously. Several journalists received intimidating SMS (short message service) in the weeks before the killing. Unofficial police reports have indicated that his ribs were broken and his lungs filled with water.

CASE NARRATIVE: (according to information received from Foker LSM – NGO Forum for Coorperation in Papua)

In the late evening of July 28, 2010 Mr. Matra’is was reported missing after his wife had not seen him returning home all day. After the police was informed, a special team searched for him for two days. They had only found his helmet and motorbike parked near the Waliwali Tujuh Bridge on the Maro River. At 7 am on July 30, 2010, fishermen found his naked corpse floating near the Dermaga Gudang Arang Warehouse, Merauke. (warning: this image is graphic in detail. Photo of Mr. Matra’is body as it was found in the river). The body was brought to the hospital and identified by his family. The first formal autopsy result did not acknowledge any signs of violence while according to an informal notice from the District Police the lungs were filled with water and two ribs were broken which indicates the use of physical violence. The regional police announced the conduct of a second autopsy at a different location, to which several of Mr. Matra’is organs were sent.

The bridge where Mr. Matra’is motorbike was found is a popular place where locals frequently go for recreation to enjoy the scenery. Mr. Matra’is was known to have often visited for taking photos near the bridge where his motorbike was found. The Police chief of Merauke, Djoko AKBP Prihadi SH concluded this case to be a suicide based on interviews with the victim’s family and colleagues and the evidence on the bridge and the first autopsy report by the local district hospital. According to the police the suicide would have been committed as a result of the stress that he must have experienced from the daily work as a journalist.

(photos’ source: http://kebebasan-kebebasancom.blogspot.com)

Journalist work and intimidation

(according to information received from the local journalists community)

Mr. Matra’is had been working as a journalist for several years including for the national private TV channel ANTV. He joined http://www.tabloidjubi.com, a Papuan civil society media in May 2009. After he published a video about illegal timber mining in Keerom, several journalists received intimidating messages. Following the increasing threats Mr. Matra’is temporarily left Jayapura, his place of work at that time. He continued to feel intimidated and often reported to have been followed by unidentified persons. Colleagues reported that he had received SMS threatening the security of his children. Months later Mr. Matra’is worked with a local TV station in Merauke.

Journalists are reported to have frequently received threats in the period before Mr. Matra’is’ killing. The threats are allegedly related to local elections in which a large scale food estate project with international investors became the subject of controversy. For example, a fellow journalist received the following message, “To the coward journalists: never play with fire if you don’t want to be burned. If you still want to make a living on this land, don’t do weird things. We have data on all of you and be prepared for death.”

Please write letters to the concerned authorities below requesting them to conduct a thorough investigation into the victim’s death. The intimidation against other journalists should also be investigated and pursued.

The AHRC has also written letters to the Special Rapporteurs on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression for their intervention.


Dear __________,

INDONESIA: Short title describing the type of violation

Name of victim: Mr. Ardiansyah Matra’is (25 years old)
Date of incident: July 28, 2010
Place of incident: Maro River, Merauke, Papua

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the death of Mr. Ardiansyah Matra’is, a journalist and human rights defender in Papua.

In the late evening of July 28, 2010 Mr. Matra’is was reported missing after his wife had not seen him returning home all day. After the police was informed, a special team searched for him for two days but only found his helmet and motorbike parked near the Waliwali Tujuh Bridge at the Maro River. At 7 am on July 30, 2010, fishermen found his naked corpse floating near the Dermaga Gudang Arang Warehouse, Merauke. The first formal autopsy result did not acknowledge any signs of violence while according to an informal notice from the District Police the lungs were filled with water and two ribs were broken which indicates the use of physical violence. The regional police announced the conduct of a second autopsy at a different location, to which several of Mr. Matra’is organs were sent.

Mr. Matra’is as well as other journalists in Merauke received intimidating messages via SMS (short message service) in recent months. Many see them related to local elections as well as other critical activities of journalist in Papua. The heavy military presence and the ongoing corruption had since been the serious obstacles for the region to sustainably develop and results in ongoing human rights violations and aggravates social tensions. The free and critical work of the media is central to the development in the region.

I request you to conduct a thorough investigation of the killing of Mr. Matra’is, as well as the intimidation against journalists in Merauke and other areas in Papua. I would like to point out that strongest action needs to be taken in accordance with law to ensure the safety of all journalists, the freedom of the press and the freedom of expression in Papua.

I am calling for your intervention into the case to ensure an independent and qualified investigation in the killing of Mr. Matra’is as well as into the intimidating climate for journalists in Merauke.

Yours sincerely,


1. Drs.Bekto. Suprato. M.Si
Head of Police Area Headquarters Jayapura, Papua province
Jl. Samratulangi No. 8 Jayapura
Tel: + 62 0967 531014
Fax: +62 0967 533763

2. Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri
Chief of National Police
Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3
Jakarta Selatan
Fax: +62 21 720 7277

3. R. Widyopramono SH,M.Hum
District Attorney Papua
Kejaksaan Tinggi Papua
Jl. Anggrek No.6 Tj. Ria Jayapura

4. Paulus Waterpauw
Director of the Criminal Unit
Papua Regional Police
Jl. Samratulangi
No. 8 Jayapura

5. Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudoyono
Republic of Indonesia
Presidential Palace
Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara
Jakarta Pusat 10010
Fax: + 62 21 231 41 38, 345 2685, 345 7782

6. Mr. Ifdhal Kasim
KOMNAS HAM (National Human Rights Commission)
Jl. Latuharhary No. 4B Menteng
Jakarta Pusat 10310
Fax: +62 21 3151042/3925227

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme (ua@ahrc.asia)
Indonesia Desk (indonesia@ahrc.asia)
Asian Human Rights Commission

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AJI to continue investigating the murder of Ardiansyah

Bintang Papua, 31 August 2010

AJI to continue investigating the murder of Ardiansyah

Following the investigations which were undertaken by the Jayapura branch of AJI (Aliansi Jurnalis Indonesia) into the death of the journalist Ardiansyah Matra’is, the national AJI is planning to undertake a more thorough investigation into the case.

A member of the central board of AJI, Eko Matyadi, who is responsible for advocacy, said he would be flying to Merauke the following day. Besides trying to discover more data about the death, he will seek to verify the earlier results of AJI’s investigations that the journalist’s death was not due to natural causes.

‘Although no autopsy is available yet from the police, our findings are that he did not die of natural courses; There were signs of injuries on his body that were the result of violence. This is what we what to confirm.’

He said that his organisation was coordinating with the police about their trip to Merauke.

He stressed that the state must accept responsibility for investigating the death of a journalist because journalists are citizens just like other citizens. ‘Jouranlists are human beings with the same rights to life and for the safeguard of their personal security,’ he said.

Meanwhile, Victor Mambor, the chairman of AJI in Jayapura, said that AJI will continue to insist on the four demands made recently to the police in Papua, calling on them to be more serious in their investigations of the death of Ardinasyah. Victor also expressed regret that a statement by PWI on behalf of Papuan journalists had apologised to the police for the peaceful action by Journalists Solidarity on 23 August.’While there is no issue between AJI as an institution and the PWI, for me personally there is still an issue to be resolved.’

He said that the demonstration to the Papuan police was well within the constitutional rights of all citizens of the state, there had been no violation of the law, while actions undertaken by journalists in solidarity with their professional colleagues were entitled to the protection of the law.’


Another Journalist attacked by Indonesian intels in Papua


Radio contributor attacked in Indonesia’s Papua

Source : BBC Monitoring 31.08.2010

On 24 August 2010 Musa Kondorura, a contributor to Kantor Berita Radio (KBR) 68H in Wasior Sub-district, Teluk Wondama District, West Papua Province, was attacked by two men, Luki and Hendra, who claimed to be members of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN).

Kondorura reported the incident to the local military sub-district commander. Along with the Teluk Wondama regional secretary, the commander organized a meeting between Kondorura and his two attackers, however the pair did not attend, saying that they had already reported the incident to the district head.

The motive behind the attack is not yet known.


News from Papua: Autopsy of Ardiansyah suggests he was murdered; Papuans will cease to exist in 50 years time

Slightly abridged in translation by TAOL

JUBI, 20 August 2010

According to a police statement, the autopsy of the body of Ardiansyah
Matra’is has revealed that he was struck several blows before falling
into the water and drowning in Maro River, Merauke.

Police public relations officer Untung Yoga told journalists that
several of his teeth were missing and there were swellings in several
parts of his body, all of which were likely to have been the result of
his having been struck with a blunt implement.

However, the police official said, before concluding the the victim had
been murdered, a further investigation would take place at the forensic
laboratory in Makassar.

The autopsy results confirm what members of his family said, namely that
there were unexplained things about his body when it was lifted out of
the river, in particular marks around his neck indicating that he had
been tortured and swellings in several parts of the body.

Investigations by the journalists organisation, AJI, conclude that he
left home at around 13.00 on the day he was reported missing. He
apparently met someone and may have spent about three hours with that
person but he never returned home afterwards. His car was found near
the location of the incident with no signs of having been damaged at
around 16.00. But several truck drivers who went back and forth across
the bridge (over the river) say they saw the vehicle at 16.00, which was
later removed at around 18.00 but was brought back to the original place
where it was found

A spokesman for the Alliance of Journalists AJI, Victor Mambor, said
that the police should immediately investigate who it was who murdered
Ardiansyah, adding: ‘It is highly likely that his murder is connected
with the terror situation for journalists which was occurring at the
time of Ardiansyah’s death, aimed at creating a tense situation in
Merauke.’ According to AJI, a week before Ardiansyah went missing, a
person who was not known to his family visited him several times and
spoke with him.


JUBI, 18 August 2010

Papuans will no longer exist in 50 years time

An Arso community leader, Tyam Tua, believes that in fifty years’ time,
the Papuan people will have ceased to exist

‘This is because the forests that are the source of their everyday
livelihood will have been completely cut down,’ he said

The development that is now underway does nothing to safeguard the
welfare of the Papuan people, he said.

Pastor John Djonga also holds the same views. ‘If the government and the
TNI continue to pursue their present policies, the Papuans will have
disappeared and all that will remain is the name. The many killings of
hundreds of indigenous people mean that they will not last more than
fifty years,’ he said.

‘Also, the felling of trees such as has been happening in Arso and
their replacement with palm oil plantations will make it very difficult
for the local people to make a living and stay alive.’

Though no reliable data is available, it is thought that the total
number of Papuans is around one and a half million.

Pastor John Djonga is also quoted as saying that the situation in Papua
is still under threat, with discrimination against the Papuan people
happening in all fields.

They suffer discrimination in education and in health. ‘Special autonomy
should have stopped this from happening,’ he said.

The Papuans are also being marginalised and elbowed out by non-Papuans.

He went on to say that the churches are struggling to overcome these
problems but they are accused of being separatists. ‘All we are doing is
trying to put an end to the many wrong things that are happening,’ he said.

It also happens when people are recruited for the civil service.
‘Discrimination is very clear and it is occurring to this very day.’