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Jakarta Post

Papua yet to see freedom of press: AJI

  • Nurul Fitri Ramadhani and Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, May 3, 2017   /   07:53 pm
Papua yet to see freedom of press: AJI Director of the Culture Department at the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) Anupama Sekhar leads a panel discussion during World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) in Jakarta on May 3. (Antara/Akbar Nugroho Gumay. )

The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) has recorded two cases of violence against journalists in the past two weeks. On May 1, Jayapura Police officers in Papua assaulted Yance Wenda, a local journalist working for Jubi daily and while he was covering the arrest of West Papua National Committee (KNPB) activists.

The police hit Yance with a rattan stick, causing injuries on his eyes, head and back, then took his bag and forcibly detained him, the report states. Three days earlier, three television journalists from Metro TV, Jaya TV and TVRI experienced intimidation by unknown groups while covering a trial in Wamena District Court, forcing them to delete their video recordings of the trial without police protection, AJI said.

“Violence and intimidation against journalists remain facts of life in Papua. The aforementioned cases happened that happened within only one week has shown how press freedom in Papua is poorly protected.” AJI chairman Suwarjono said during the celebration of World Press Freedom Day at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) on Wednesday.

(Read also: No talk of Papua at Press Freedom Day)

According to Suwarjono, the government’s promises to protect and open access for foreign press in Papua remains empty.

AJI found that only 15 foreign journalists were granted access to Papua in the last two years. Radio France journalist Marie Dumieres was closely monitored by the police when she was working on her story in the province. In March, Franck Jean Pierre Escudie and Basille Marie Longchamp, journalists for The Explorers Network were deported. (dan)

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