Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Activists, media freedom advocates plan ‘global action’ for West Papua

"Gagged" West Papua. Instagram montage by tuckwolf_
By Pacific Media Watch

MEDIA freedom advocates and human rights activists are planning a “global action” for West Papua with demonstrations marking UNESCO world press freedom day events in Jakarta next week.

The advocates want to focus global attention on the “media blackout” long imposed by Indonesian authorities, in spite of promises to open up access to the two Melanesian provinces of Papua and West Papua adjoining independent Papua New Guinea.

The global action will begin on May 1 and run for three days climaxing with World Press Freedom Day on May 3.

Prominent UK-based West Papuan lawyer and civil rights campaigner Benny Wenda will then pay a visit to New Zealand the following week to raise awareness.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Latest West Papua journalist blacklisting another serious violation by Indonesia


French journalist Cyril Payen is still barred from entering Indonesia following his 2015 documentary film, Indonésie : la guerre oubliée des Papous (The Forgotten War in Papua).

Analysis by Tempo in Pacific Media Watch

THE blacklisting of Jack Hewson, a freelance journalist working for Al Jazeera, shows the Indonesian government’s paranoia towards foreign journalists.

The government should allow the foreign press to cover Papua. Preventing journalists from reporting the facts there is not a good testament on the claim of press freedom in Indonesia.

Hewson, who is based in Jakarta, planned to report on the Freeport issue from Timika in Papua. But after leaving for the Philippines last week, he learned that he has been banned from returning to Indonesia for no clear reason.

It transpires that the request for the ban came from the Indonesian Military (TNI).

According to the Immigration Directorate General, Hewson is suspected of “dangerous activities, endangering security and public order”.

Friday, April 7, 2017

LIVE: CAFCA’s Murray Horton on NZ independence and foreign policy

Graphic: Concept art for Planet of the Apes

Courtesy of the Pacific Media Centre and Asia Pacific Report

 

TIME FOR INDEPENDENCE FROM A CRUMBLING US EMPIRE - Murray Horton
The advent of President Donald Trump in the US provides an unprecedented opportunity to take a good, hard look at Aotearoa's place in the world.  And to ask the question - why are we still a loyal member of the American Empire?

As the old saying goes, you are judged by the company you keep.

CAFCA Murray Horton says it's time for this country to pull the plug, to finish the business started in the 1980s, which saw us out of ANZUS, and break the chains -- military, intelligence, economic and cultural -- that continue to bind us to the American Empire.

Speaker: Murray Horton, national organiser of the Christchurch-based Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA). Video in two parts.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Grief, repression, life and death in West Papua’s Highlands

Bonnie Etherington reading from her new book The Earth Cries Out at the Women's Bookshop in Ponsonby,
Auckland, this week. Photo: Del Abcede
THE Auckland launch of Bonnie Etherington’s thrilling debut novel, The Earth Cries Out, on grief, repression and life in another world -- the Highlands of West Papua -- this week was intriguing.

Along with the usual literati at events like this, were the human rights activists with “Free West Papua” emblazoned on their chests and the media freedom advocates intent on exposing the constant gags imposed on the West Papuans by the Indonesian military killing machine in defiance of an empty “open door” policy proclaimed by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in 2015.

The “Free West Papua” movement, fuelled by inspired and continuous social media exposes and debate, has been growing exponentially in recent years.

But you wouldn’t know that if you merely relied on the parochial New Zealand media, which doesn’t seem to have woken up to the human rights catastrophe happening on its Pacific doorstep. (Instead, global news services such as Al Jazeera English, or local services such as Asia Pacific Report and Radio NZ International are having to do the job for them).

Speaking at the Women’s Bookshop in deepest Ponsonby – a world away from the mountain jungle near Wamena in West Papua, Nelson-born Etherington gave three readings from her book, which she says is aimed at a more nuanced understanding of West Papua, one of them a chilling rendition of the fate of a woman accused and slain as an alleged “witch”.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

West Papuan students stage anti-Freeport protests in Indonesia


KBR audio report on the Jakarta protest in Bahasa. Audio: KBR/Asia Pacific Report

From the Pacific Media Centre's Asia Pacific Report.

West Papua is the ongoing Pacific human rights story that the mainstream New Zealand media ignores. Freeport in West Papua is the copper and gold mine - the world's second largest -- that the $20 billion NZ Superannuation Fund was forced to pull out of in 2012 after sustained protest about its "unethical" investment in the company.

PROTESTERS from the Papuan Student Alliance (AMP) and religious pupils from an Islamic boarding school (pesantren) have faced off against each other at the Malan city hall in East Java.

Both groups held the protests on Friday under tight police security, as West Papuan protests over Freeport took place at several other places across Indonesia.

Scores of demonstrators from the AMP and the Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-West Papua) unfurled banners and conveyed a number of demands, including the closure of the PT Freeport gold and copper mine in Papua.

They also brought banners with demands such as, “A joint action to support the Papua problem at the United Nations Human Rights Council” and “Close and Expel Freeport”. Protesters took turns in giving speeches.

The spokesperson for the AMP and FRI-West Papua, Wilson, said that the action represented Papuan society’s anxiety saying there are so many violations at PT Freeport that it was creating ever more misery in the land of Papua.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Worlds of Journalism global research project produces NZ findings

The latest Pacific Journalism Review ... publishing for 22 years. Image: Hans Tommy/AUT
From Asia Pacific Report

NEW ZEALAND journalists are working longer hours, and feeling more pressure, both ethically and resource-wise, than they were only two years ago, a new research survey has found.

A survey of New Zealand professional journalists, published today in Pacific Journalism Review, also shows for the first time that women journalists are paid less than men, despite making up the bulk of the workforce.

The survey shows female journalists, despite predominating in the profession, are significantly disadvantaged in terms of promotion and income.

The average before tax income of all journalists was $69,400 (in 2015 dollars) but the median after-tax salary of women was 26 percent lower than that of men of equivalent rank and experience.

READ MORE: Pacific Journalism Review on the new Tuwhera platform

>>> Café Pacific on YouTube

Loading...

>>> Popular Café Pacific Posts