World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Indonesia must regain authority over “rogue” security forces

Jakarta must regain authority over Papua, demands PFF, the Pacific Freedom Forum, after the latest action by "rogue" security forces.

"Free speech should not suffer because of cookies," says PFF Chair Monica Miller, referring to removal of a BBC journalist from West Papua earlier this month.

Biscuits were highlighted by the BBC’s Indonesia Editor Rebecca Henschke in a tweet about low-quality emergency relief food given to infants during a serious outbreak of measles, including sugary drinks, noodles and cookies.

"Removing BBC journalists from Papua provinces over such a tiny detail is proof that Indonesian security forces are still acting outside the law."

An official release from TNI, the Indonesian military, accused Henschke of "hurting soldiers feelings" with her reporting.

As previously noted by PFF, security forces in Papua have long operated outside the law, defying Indonesia constitutional protections for free speech, along with free press legislation.

"Papua free speech is worth more than cookies and fizzy drinks", says Miller.

PFF is calling on Jakarta to "end a slow genocide against free speech, and assert authority over rogue security forces."

This call extends to development partners concerned at continued resource corruption in Papua, and across Indonesia.

From Port Moresby, PFF co-Chair Alexander Rheeney compares Indonesian ‘feelings’ with Papua anger over mass arrests, assault, killings and jailing of those holding up free speech rights.

"Papua people have suffered decades of free-speech loss, to tragic result - half a million documented deaths in half a century.

"We then have a free-speech farce with Indonesia hosting World Press Freedom Day last year - but officially ignoring Papua."

"This deportation from Papua just adds to the farce."

From Palau, PFF co-Chair Bernadette Carreon says it is time the region paid closer attention to the role of TNI, an Indonesian armed forces badge.

"That badge is the same badge currently being considered for fresh funding from the United States," notes Carreon.

"American law makers must ask themselves - can a country that gets angry over a packet of cookies be trusted with advanced security training?"

PFF supports statements from AJI, the Alliance of Independent Journalists in Indonesia, RSF, Reporters Sans Frontiers, and IFJ, the International Federation of Journalists, condemning the arrests and removal of the BBC journalists.

PFF is also welcoming an invitation from Indonesia for the United Nations Human Rights Commission to visit Papua province as “long overdue.”

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Deal On Paris Implementation: Rapid Action Urged At Climate Change Conference

Following a year of devastating climate disasters around the globe, from California to Kerala, and Tonga to Japan, the annual UN Climate Change Conference opens with the goal of finalising the implementation guidelines for the Paris Climate Change Agreement. More>>


New Report: Refugees In PNG Being Pushed To The Brink

Refugee Council of Australia and Amnesty International paint a stark picture of a traumatised refugee population hit hard by Australia's recent healthcare and counselling service cuts, as well as continued threats to their safety. More>>


Jamal Khashoggi: UK, France, Germany Join Calls For Credible Investigation

Germany, the United Kingdom and France share the grave concern expressed by others including HRVP Mogherini and UNSG Guterres, and are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness. More>>


MSF Not Wanted: Nauru Government Shows Continued Callousness

The Nauruan Government’s decision to ask Doctors Without Borders to immediately leave shows continued callousness towards asylum seekers desperately seeking a safe place to call home, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said today. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC