Tag Archives: Indonesia

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: Investigate Environmental Lawyer’s Death

October 10, 2019

Golfrid Siregar Helped to Protect Sumatra’s Rainforests, Villagers

Golfrid Siregar (left),  an environmental lawyer, died on October 6, 2019 three days after his unconscious body was found in Medan, North Sumatra.

Indonesian authorities should immediately and impartially investigate the death of an environmental lawyer, Golfrid Siregar, in Medan, North Sumatra, Human Rights Watch said today.

After midnight on October 3, 2019, a pedicab driver found Siregar unconscious and seriously injured on a street in Medan, the provincial capital, and took him to a local hospital. He never regained consciousness and died on October 6. He had suffered multiple injuries and his wallet and other personal effects were missing.

“Golfrid Siregar was an environmental lawyer and grassroots activist who had dedicated his life to protecting Sumatra’s rainforests and helping villagers protect their land,” said Andreas Harsono, senior Indonesia researcher. “His death under suspicious circumstances demands a prompt, thorough investigation of all those implicated.”

Siregar, 34, represented the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia, or Walhi), Indonesia’s largest environmental group, in a lawsuit against North Sumatra’s governor over his 2017 approval for the construction of the US$1.5 billion Batang Toru hydroelectric dam. Walhi had argued that the permit issuance process was problematic and was appealing two earlier court verdicts they had lost. He had also sought legal action against the police in a related matter for their alleged failure to adequately respond to a complaint.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/10/10/indonesia-investigate-environmental-lawyers-death

Suspicions of murder in death of Indonesian environmental activist

https://en.tempo.co/read/1258483/police-name-3-suspects-tied-to-death-of-activist-golfrid-siregar

https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/10/indonesia-green-group-calls-for-probe-into-death-of-activist

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/indonesian-environmental-activist-golfrid-siregar-feared-murdered

https://www.tribunnews.com/regional/2019/10/11/kasus-kematian-golfrid-siregar-tukang-becak-yang-bawa-pengacara-walhi-itu-ke-rs-jadi-tersangka (INDONESIAN)

https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2019/10/10/indonesie-enqueter-sur-la-mort-dun-avocat-defenseur-des-droits-environnementaux (FRANCAIS)

https://www.courrierinternational.com/une/climat-en-indonesie-soupcons-dassassinat-apres-la-mort-dun-activiste-environnemental (FRANCAIS)

Indonesia/Australia: Police Issue Red Notice to Interpol to Track and Capture Veronica Koman

September 20, 2019

East Java Police have officially put Veronica Koman, an Indonesian human rights lawyer and outspoken supporter of Papua independence, in its wanted persons list and submitted a red notice to Interpol to help capture her overseas, a police official said on Friday.

Police have declared Veronica a suspect, accusing her of spreading false information and provoking unrest in Papua and West Papua by publishing reports on the protests and attacks against Papuan students in East Java.

Investigators have summoned Veronica three times to be interrogated but she has yet to make an appearance. She is charged with violating the Electronic Information and Transactions Law and the Elimination of Racial and Ethnic Discrimination Law.

East Java Police Chief Insp. Gen. Luki Hermawan said according to police investigators Veronica has gone into hiding in Australia.

“According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Indonesian Embassy [in Canberra], Veronica has made contact with the embassy. We’ve put her name in our wanted persons list,” Luki said in Surabaya on Friday.

https://jakartaglobe.id/context/police-issue-red-notice-to-interpol-to-track-and-capture-veronica-koman

https://unpo.org/article/21672

At Least 20 Killed, Dozens Injured in Papua Unrest: Indonesian Military

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

https://www.nusabali.com/berita/59956/polisi-temukan-barang-bukti-di-rumah-veronica-koman (INDONESIAN)

https://www.tribunnews.com/nasional/2019/09/21/tindakan-terukur-polisi-untuk-bekuk-veronica-koman-di-australia (INDONESIAN)

https://hot.liputan6.com/read/4068146/video-pengertian-red-notice-interpol-status-veronica-koman (INDONESIAN)

https://nasional.tempo.co/read/1245590/aktivis-ham-veronica-koman-jalankan-tugas-bukan-sebar-hoaks (INDONESIAN)

https://news.detik.com/berita/d-4718774/veronica-koman-berkicau-soal-rusuh-di-papua-polri-angkat-bicara (INDONESIAN)

Indonesia/UN/Australia: Indonesia Condemns Statement by UN Experts on Papua Unrest

September 20, 2019

Indonesia has condemned a press statement issued by five independent United Nations Human Rights Council special rapporteurs in which they expressed serious concern over recent development in Papua.

The five rapporteurs also urged the Indonesian government on Tuesday to drop all charges against human rights lawyer Veronika Koman, whom they said had been “subjected to harassment and abuse online for her work on alleged human rights violations in Papua.”

Police have declared Veronika a suspect, accusing her of spreading false information and provoking unrest in Papua and West Papua by publishing reports on the protests and attacks against Papuan students in East Java.

Sporadic unrest in broke out in several cities in Indonesia’s two easternmost provinces after racial animosity by hardline Muslims and members of the police and military against Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, in August.

The government said false information and provocative content spread on social media, including by Veronika, had contributed to the unrest.

https://jakartaglobe.id/context/indonesia-condemns-statement-by-un-experts-on-papua-unrest

https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/09/18/un-calls-indonesia-protect-veronica-koman.html

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-18/veronica-koman-pro-papua-lawyer-may-be-hiding-australia/11516246

https://en.tempo.co/read/1250173/veronica-koman-fugitive-police-issue-red-notice-for-interpol?TerkiniUtama&campaign=TerkiniUtama_Click_1

https://regional.kompas.com/read/2019/09/20/16510971/fakta-terkini-kasus-veronica-koman-resmi-masuk-dpo-hingga-polisi-minta (INDONESIAN)

https://surabaya.kompas.com/read/2019/09/20/12190111/polda-jatim-tetapkan-veronica-koman-sebagai-buronan?page=all (INDONESIAN)

Indonesia/Australia: Australia refuses to rule out handing over Sydney lawyer who advocates for West Papuans to Indonesia

September 17, 2019

West Papuan activist Victor Yeimo and Indonesian lawyer Veronica Koman

The Australian government has refused to rule out handing over a Sydney-based lawyer who advocates for West Papuans to Indonesian authorities.

Veronica Koman, an Indonesian human rights lawyer who currently lives in Australia, is being pursued by Indonesian police for disseminating evidence of police- and military-backed violence in West Papua.

Koman has been a credible source of eyewitness accounts, photos and footage of protests that have swept across West Papua and other Indonesian provinces in recent weeks.

Several people have reportedly died and dozens of others injured in violent clashes with Indonesian police, military and military-backed militia, which were sparked by the racist abuse of Papuan students in Java but have morphed into a demand for a referendum on West Papuan independence.

Koman faces charges under the country’s controversial electronic information and transactions law, and faces up to six years in jail if found guilty.

East Java police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera told the Guardian that if Koman did not report to Indonesian authorities by 18 September, a red notice would be issued through Interpol for her arrest. “After that we will work with the international police,” he said.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/17/australia-refuses-to-rule-out-handing-over-sydney-lawyer-who-advocates-for-west-papuans-to-indonesia

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/australia-does-not-rule-out-handing-over-human-rights-lawyer-to-indonesia

https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/398922/un-urges-indonesia-to-protect-koman

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/world/human-rights-lawyer-veronica-koman-breaks-silence-slams-indonesian-authorities/news-story/a799a0f29fca3fc59bed0983bf8a48ac

https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/09/16/un-human-rights-experts-express-support-for-veronica-koman-in-papua-case.html

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/09/west-papua-unrest-tests-indonesia-jokowi-term-begins-190911060733265.html

UN experts urge Indonesia to protect human rights defender Veronica Koman

https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/492392

https://www.cnnindonesia.com/internasional/20190917135734-134-431227/ahli-pbb-desak-ri-cabut-sangkaan-terhadap-veronica-koman (INDONESIAN)

Indonesia/Australia: Indonesia: Support Letter Ms. Veronica Koman | Joint Letter

September 13, 2019

LRWC and L4L sent a joint letter calling on Indonesian authorities to withdraw criminal charges against human rights lawyer Veronica Koman, charged for disseminating information about police violence against Papuan students peacefully protesting for Papuan self-determination. The letter was sent to the Ministers of Political, Legal and Security Affairs, of Law and Human Rights and of Immigration along with the President and the Police Chief for the East Java region.


The President of the Republic of Indonesia
His Excellency Mr. Ir. Joko Widodo
Jl. Veteran No. 16
Jakarta Pusat
INDONESIA

Amsterdam, 12 September 2019

Subject: Support Letter Ms. Veronica Koman

Your Excellency,

Lawyers for Lawyers (“L4L”) is an independent and non-political Dutch foundation that seeks to promote the proper functioning of the rule of law by pursuing freedom and independence of the legal profession. Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (“LRWC”) is a committee of lawyers and others who promote international human rights through advocacy, legal research and education.

L4L and LRWC write to express their concern about the police charges against Ms. Veronica Koman.

Veronica Koman is a prominent, independent human rights lawyer who previously worked as a public interest lawyer at the Legal Aid Institute (LBH) in Jakarta. LBH provides legal aid to the poor and marginalized people in Indonesia. Specifically, Veronica Koman has specialized in defending the rights of international refugees, women & LGBTIQs and West Papuans.

In previous years, Veronica Koman received multiple (death and rape) threats for defending the rights of accused persons in high-profile political cases, among which three legal cases involving Papuan indigenous people who were accused of separatism.

Indonesia: Support Letter Ms. Veronica Koman | Joint Letter

Letter on behalf of Veronica Koman

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=24990&LangID=E

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/09/urges-indonesia-protect-rights-west-papua-activists-190916081502990.html

https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/492129

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

https://en.tempo.co/read/1246104/police-issue-second-summons-letter-for-veronica-koman

https://en.tempo.co/read/1247511/police-trace-suspicious-transactions-in-veronica-komans-accounts

https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/398897/increase-noted-in-intimidation-of-legal-advocates-for-papuans

https://regional.kompas.com/read/2019/09/15/13392941/fakta-baru-kasus-veronica-koman-polisi-temukan-6-rekening-hingga-bantah?page=all (INDONESIAN)

https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20190914105624-20-430447/lsm-asing-surati-jokowi-setop-kasus-veronica-koman (INDONESIAN)

Indonesia/Australia: Outcry as Indonesia seeks to arrest renowned West Papua rights lawyer

September 5, 2019

Veronica Koman faces charges after being accused of spreading ‘fake news’ and inciting unrest

Indonesian police have named human rights lawyer and well-known West Papua advocate Veronica Koman as a suspect in the spreading of “fake news”, accusing her of provoking widespread unrest in Indonesia’s easternmost provinces.

In a move slammed by Amnesty International Indonesia, the human rights lawyer faces charges under the country’s controversial electronic information and transactions law, and faces up to six years in jail if found guilty.

Police specifically mentioned Koman’s posts about an incident in Surabaya in mid-August where military and nationalist militia were captured on video calling Papuan students “monkeys” and “dogs”.

East Java police said the lawyer had provoked and inflamed anti-racist riots that have swept across West Papua in recent weeks, and accused of her spreading fake news and provocative material.

Indonesian police say they have also contacted Interpol to seek assistance in locating the Indonesian lawyer, who they believe is abroad.

Indonesia’s National Commission of Human Rights slammed the move, saying Koman had attempted only to provide “necessary information from a different point of view”.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/05/outcry-as-indonesia-seeks-to-arrest-renowned-west-papua-rights-lawyer

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/09/05/asia-pacific/social-issues-asia-pacific/indonesian-human-rights-lawyer-accused-inciting-violent-papua-protests-spreading-provocative-news/

https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/09/05/police-charge-papua-activist-govt-mulls-ending-blackout.html

Indonesian police target Veronica Koman for West Papua ‘incitement’

https://www.tribunnews.com/regional/2019/09/05/berita-terkini-papua-blokir-internet-dicabut-hingga-sosok-veronica-koman-yang-jadi-tersangka (INDONESIAN)

https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20190904161048-12-427500/safenet-polisi-tak-tepat-tetapkan-veronica-koman-tersangka (INDONESIAN)

https://news.solopos.com/read/20190905/496/1016638/amnesty-international-usut-pelaku-rasisme-bukan-twitter-veronica-koman (INDONESIAN)

https://www.suara.com/news/2019/09/05/073000/veronica-koman-jadi-tersangka-amnesty-international-minta-kasusnya-dicabut (INDONESIAN)