Tag Archives: Australia

Indonesia/Australia: Indonesian human rights lawyer Koman refuses to be cowed on Papua

October 22, 2019

Veronica Koman meets with Australian MPs about Papua

Veronica Koman, a human rights lawyer sought by Indonesian police over Twitter posts authorities blame for fanning unrest in the Papua region, has a tattoo on each wrist.

The first, inked when she was in her late teens and a fervent nationalist, reads simply “Indonesia” and, she says, meant that “Indonesia is running through my veins”.

The second, which she got a few years later after becoming “exposed to social justice”, has become a defiant riposte to the vitriol she has received for defending activists and advocating self-determination for Papua, Indonesia’s easternmost provinces.

The tattoo reads “DILLIGAF”, an abbreviation for a crude saying which roughly stands for “Do I look like I give a damn?”

“I’ve actually been experiencing this weird systematic attack, if you like, online since I think it was almost two years ago,” Koman said in an interview in Australia, where she is now living.

The threats can come in slickly produced video posted on YouTube or comments from anonymous social media accounts.

The abuse includes death threats, incitements to sexual assault and racist slurs, online material reviewed by Reuters showed. It also includes the publication of personal information about her and her family.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-papua-lawyer/indonesian-human-rights-lawyer-koman-refuses-to-be-cowed-on-papua-idUSKBN1X10WH

https://acfid.asn.au/media-releases/veronica-koman-receives-sir-ronald-wilson-human-rights-award

https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/10/24/veronica-koman-wins-australian-human-rights-award-for-papua-activism.html

https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/10/17/veronica-koman-meets-with-australian-mps-about-papua.html

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-24/veronica-koman-west-papua-human-rights-lawyer-activist-awards/11633222

https://www.miragenews.com/veronica-koman-receives-sir-ronald-wilson-human-rights-award/

https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/401682/indonesian-human-rights-lawyer-wins-prize-for-west-papua-work

Indonesian human rights defender Veronica Koman receives Sir Ronald Wilson Human Rights Award

https://law.anu.edu.au/news-and-events/news/veronica-koman-opens-about-her-west-papua-advocacy

https://www.cnnindonesia.com/internasional/20191017072645-113-440201/veronica-koman-temui-parlemen-australia-bahas-persoalan-papua (INDONESIAN)

https://kastara.id/18/10/2019/soal-veronica-koman-dilema-australia-antara-kedaulatan-indonesia-dan-ham-papua/ (INDONESIAN)

Image may contain: 1 person, stripes and text

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people on stage and text

(Veronica Koman Facebook, 23/10/19)

Image may contain: 1 person, text

(L’Observatoire des Avocats Facebook, 23/10/19)

Image may contain: 1 person, text

Australia/Timor Leste: Australia urged to return $5bn to Timor-Leste and launch royal commission

October 18, 2019

Senate inquiry told Australia should also drop prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery

Australia’s negotiations with Timor-Leste should be the subject of a royal commission, and the government should return $5bn unfairly taken from the impoverished nation, a parliamentary inquiry has been told.

It should also drop the prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery, who revealed the now infamous bugging of Timorese delegates during negotiations on what became the CMATS treaty.

A Senate standing committee is examining decisions made by Australia in 2002, amid fractious maritime border negotiations with Timor-Leste, to withdraw from the jurisdictions of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Among the seven published submissions – none of which come from the Australian government – high profile Timorese organisations, allies and academics, supported the return, and called on Australia to be held accountable for its conduct.

Submissions also called for the government to drop the prosecutions of Witness K and Bernard Collaery.

Bracks and academic Clinton Fernandes noted it occurred around the time that Jemaah Islamiyah terrorists bombed Australia’s embassy in Jakarta.

“Surely our Asis resources should have been targeting the ‘war on terror’, and not facilitating Australia’s economic exploitation of a friendly, desperately poor and recently traumatised neighbour?” Bracks said.

Timor-Leste later sought to have the CMATS treaty terminated by the Hague after the bugging operation was revealed in 2013, but Witness K was prevented by Australia from attending the hearing to give evidence, and both he and Collaery have faced charges in extraordinarily controversial circumstances.

Bracks said he had “no doubt” that Xanana Gusmao would not have signed the treaty had he known Witness K and Collaery would be charged soon after.

Submissions to the inquiry have closed, although requests for an extension can be made. A report is expected on 28 November.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/19/australia-urged-to-return-5bn-to-timor-leste-and-launch-royal-commission

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6443314/amicus-bid-dismissed-in-spying-case/

https://7news.com.au/news/crime/court-stops-amicus-bid-in-bugging-case-c-508237

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/east-timor-prosecutions-public-forum-tickets-73219101303

https://sakibawan.com/human-rights/the-case-against-witness-k-and-bernard-collaery

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/oct/21/australian-newspapers-black-out-front-pages-to-fight-back-against-secrecy-laws

https://www.smh.com.au/national/with-greater-powers-must-come-greater-accountability-20191018-p5323k.html

https://honisoit.com/2019/10/murdoch-university-sues-staff-whistleblower-over-four-corners-comments/

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/oct/21/australian-newspapers-black-out-front-pages-to-fight-back-against-secrecy-laws

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/oct/22/witness-k-lawyer-warns-many-whistleblowers-have-nowhere-to-go

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/lawyers-risk-jail-in-press-freedom-fight/news-story/5337fc9356ed72d2af36f57797b05af2

https://7news.com.au/politics/afghan-whistleblower-case-back-in-court-c-521807

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Collaery

https://www.change.org/p/christian-porter-drop-the-charges-against-bernard-collaery-witness-k (SIGN THE PETITION!)

Endangered Lawyers need International Protection

October 2019

https://www.lawasia.asn.au/sites/default/files/2019-10/Bulletin%20Article%20-%20Prof%20Higashizawa%20-%20Oct%202019.pdf

https://www.lawasia.asn.au/home/lawasia-news?fbclid=IwAR2oxw82RVEwfL480UlqvRqvx3YNGZ_w0MfIlffDH662WpK0O59BJSuQQog

https://www.lawasia.asn.au/

Indonesia/Australia: Papua unrest: Social media bots ‘skewing the narrative’

October 11, 2019

Illustration of a robot holding up several masks

Indonesia’s Papua province has become the focus of a well-funded social media campaign using bots to promote a pro-government agenda, the BBC has found.

A long-running Papuan separatist movement has flared in recent months, sparking fresh calls for self-rule.

But with access to the region heavily restricted, social media has become a key source for the foreign press.

One expert told the BBC the apparently co-ordinated campaigns were seeking to skew international views of Papua.

Targeted abuse from bots

The Twitter bot networks revealed by the BBC investigation have actively targeted Indonesia human rights lawyer Veronica Koman.

She told the BBC: “Rape and death threats are now part of my daily life.”

Now based in Australia, she has been a major source on social media of photos and footage of protests and unrest, sharing information passed to her by contacts in Papua.

Ms Koman now stands accused by the government of spreading “false news” and “provoking unrest” by publishing reports about the racist attacks on Papua students in Java.

She faces charges under the controversial Electronic Information and Transactions law (ITE) that makes it illegal to spread “fake news”. If found guilty she could be jailed for six years.

Press and rights groups say this law suppresses free speech and is open to misuse.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-49983667

https://pmc.aut.ac.nz/pacific-media-watch/indonesia-facebook-removes-hundreds-fake-indonesian-west-papua-accounts-10539

https://unpo.org/article/21680

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/more-than-16-000-people-flee-unrest-in-indonesia-s-papua

The West Papua Uprising: A Call to Stand Up and Fight!

Indonesia/Australia: One of Indonesia’s most wanted people says she won’t be silenced, despite daily death threats

October 4, 2019

Veronica Koman in Sydney.

EXCLUSIVE: As violence in the Papuan provinces of Indonesia reaches its “darkest” point in 20 years, Indonesian human rights lawyer Veronica Koman says she will continue to speak out despite daily death threats.

A pro-Papuan lawyer who has been threatened with an Interpol Red Notice says she receives daily rape and death threats as the uprising in the Indonesian provinces ramp up.

Veronica Koman, a respected Indonesian human rights lawyer, now lives in Australia but continues to be pursued by the Indonesian government for allegedly disseminating evidence of security forces carrying out violence in Indonesia’s easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua.

“I started to receive death threats two years ago and it’s almost like a daily experience now to receive death and rape threats online,” the 31-year-old told SBS News in an exclusive interview.

“They’re trying to kill the messenger. They cannot refute my data, all the footage they cannot refute that so they’re trying to destroy my credibility.”

 

Ms Koman became involved in the West Papuan struggle for independence in 2014 after five protesters were allegedly killed and another 17 injured by the Indonesian military in an event known as the Paniai killings.

“I thought at the time … ‘wow, why is there no outrage? School children are killed by security forces,'” she said.

“It has become my personal mission to expose what’s happening in West Papua.”

Last week, the provinces – which share a border with Papua New Guinea – suffered one of their bloodiest days in 20 years, with at least 33 people killed in the central town of Wamena.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/one-of-indonesia-s-most-wanted-people-says-she-won-t-be-silenced-despite-daily-death-threats

https://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/the-world/2019-10-03/this-is-bigger-than-us-:-activist-vows-to-keep/11572810

https://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/article.aspx?id=298535

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/threats-against-and-judicial-harassment-human-rights-lawyer-veronica-koman

https://news.detik.com/berita/d-4733800/veronica-koman-buka-suara-di-media-australia-kemlu-anggap-tak-pantas (INDONESIAN)

https://news.detik.com/berita/d-4734501/tampil-di-media-veronica-koman-diingatkan-soal-beasiswa (INDONESIAN)

https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20191004085943-20-436653/buka-suara-veronica-koman-sebut-terima-ancaman-pembunuhan (INDONESIAN)

https://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veronica_Koman (INDONESIAN)

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/fr/profile/veronica-koman (FRANCAIS)

Australia/Timor Leste: Australia’s quest for national security is undermining the courts and could lead to secretive trials

October 2, 2019

Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery. Picture: Jamila Toderas

This is part of a new series looking at the national security challenges facing Australia, how our leaders are responding to them through legislation and how these measures are impacting society. Read other stories in the series here.


In August, the intelligence officer known as Witness K indicated he would plead guilty to a conspiracy charge under section 39 of the Intelligence Services Act. That section prohibits the disclosure of information acquired or prepared by the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS).

His lawyer, Bernard Collaery, will contest the same charge in the ACT Supreme Court.

Concerns have been raised about the use of the National Security Information Act (NSIA) in the Collaery trial. Anthony Whealy, a former judge who presided over several of Australia’s recent terrorism trials, said

This could be one of the most secretive trials in Australian history.

Both cases will be back in court this month. A hearing is also scheduled to consider how national security information will be dealt with in the Collaery trial.

There has been significant media discussion around the ASIS bugging that Witness K and Bernard Collaery exposed, but less about the NSIA.

So what is the National Security Information Act? Why was it introduced and how could it lead to secretive trials?

https://theconversation.com/australias-quest-for-national-security-is-undermining-the-courts-and-could-lead-to-secretive-trials-122638

https://www.newcastleherald.com.au/story/6418831/unattractive-orders-on-bugging-case/

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/oct/02/judge-handling-witness-k-case-risks-10-years-jail-if-he-breaches-secrecy-provisions

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6418503/judge-raises-concerns-about-ags-proposed-orders-in-east-timor-spying-case/?cs=14264

https://www.hrlc.org.au/news/2019/10/6/witness-k-case-in-court-tomorrow

https://7news.com.au/politics/timor-spying-case-returns-to-act-court-c-492142

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6443314/private-citizens-bid-to-be-heard-in-east-timor-bugging-case-shut-down/

https://www.newcastleherald.com.au/story/6443452/court-stops-amicus-bid-in-bugging-case/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Collaery

International Bar Association/South Korea: Sessions on persecution of lawyers, Annual Conference, September 22-27, 2019

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https://www.int-bar.org/Conferences/conf840/ProgrammeSearch/Results/Detail.cfm?FunctionGuid=AC48E5C0-996A-413A-B43A-B6DF858FC129&Search=ListSessionsByCommittee

https://www.int-bar.org/Conferences/conf840/ProgrammeSearch/Results/Detail.cfm?FunctionGuid=6E914D6F-9A21-48C9-9C44-3A73FF15BB85&Search=ListSessionsByCommittee

https://www.int-bar.org/Conferences/conf840/ProgrammeSearch/Results/Detail.cfm?FunctionGuid=49F526CE-0BC8-4DD3-98BE-B5137667ADC7&Search=ListSessionsByCommittee

https://www.int-bar.org/Conferences/conf840/ProgrammeSearch/Results/Detail.cfm?FunctionGuid=90E75C5E-82B9-4C7E-8796-CC4CF5A25DE7&Search=ListSessionsByCommittee

http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3068206&cloc=joongangdaily%7Chome%7Ctop

https://www.ibanet.org/IBAHRI.aspx

https://www.ibanet.org/Conferences/Seoul-2019.aspx

https://www.ibaseoul2019.com/

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