Friday, August 28, 2020

Penghargaan Oktovianus Pogau 2020



mantan Ketua Dewan Pers, direktur eksekutif Lembaga Pers Dr. Soetomo, dan 
redaktur pelaksana harian Indonesia Raya

Pemberian Penghargaan Oktovianus Pogau untuk keberanian dalam jurnalisme dilakukan secara virtual hari ini dengan Atmakusumah Astraatmadja memberikan sambutan.


Seandainya pada hari ini, Jumat 28 Agustus 2020, sempat berkunjung ke Medan, saya akan senang sekali bila dapat berdiskusi dengan Rektor Universitas Sumatera Utara Runtung Sitepu, mengapa ia menolak penampilan cerita pendek mengenai tekanan batin yang diderita kalangan LGBT dalam siaran Suara USU, media komunikasi massa online kampus yang dikelola oleh para mahasiswa di universitas tersebut, pada edisi 12 Maret 2019. Malahan, pada bulan Maret itu pula, Rektor memberhentikan seluruh pengelola media massa ini, bukan hanya pemimpin redaksi sebagai penanggung jawab utama bagi isi atau konten siaran itu.

Gugatan hukum oleh para pengasuh Suara USU terhadap pemberhentian mereka di Pengadilan Tata Usaha Negara di Medan ditolak oleh hakim dengan pertimbangan bahwa persoalan ini merupakan otonomi kampus. Agaknya Pengadilan tidak mensejajarkan media massa kampus atau media massa mahasiswa dengan media pers, melainkan dengan media hubungan masyarakat. Isi dan tujuan media humas ditetapkan oleh lembaga atau perusahaan yang menjadikan media itu sebagai corong pihak penerbit, bukan terutama mewakili kepentingan publik seperti yang menjadi tujuan media pers.

Yang menyedihkan adalah bahwa karya yang demikian kreatif ikut lenyap dari pengamatan para peminat masalah LGBT untuk dapat melanjutkan diskusi mengenai isu yang kontroversial ini.

Walaupun cerita pendek karya Yael Stefany Sinaga yang disiarkan oleh Suara USU, berjudul “Ketika Semua Menolak Kehadiran Diriku Didekatnya,” hanya sebuah karya fiktif, akan tetapi struktur dan bahasa yang digunakannya terasa seperti karya jurnalistik sastrawi yang faktual. Mungkin ada di kalangan media pers umum dari media arus utama (mainstream) yang berminat melanjutkan pembahasan tentang isu LGBT dengan mengutip cerita pendek ini dan dilengkapi dengan tulisan opini yang mendalam.

Upaya Yayasan Pantau, yang dipimpin oleh Andreas Harsono, untuk memberikan Penghargaan Oktovianus Pogau 2020 bagi keberanian para pengasuh Suara USU dalam jurnalisme untuk mengembangkan kebebasan berekspresi dan menyatakan pendapat patut dihargai. Anugerah ini diserahkan kepada Yael Stefany Sinaga, pemimpin umum, dan Widiya Hastuti, pemimpin redaksi media massa online kampus itu yang pernah terbit sebagai media massa cetak.

Indonesia: Freedom of Religion or Belief

A Gafatar farm house burned in Mempawah, Kalimantan, 2016
A Gafatar religious group farm house was burned down in Kalimantan, 2016.

JAKARTA -- In January 1965, President Sukarno wrote the blasphemy law, declaring “six protected religions” –Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism— in Indonesia and to punish anyone who is defame one of those religions with a jail term, maximum five years. His administration never used that toxic law. President Suharto administration, which ruled between 1965 and 1998, used that law only 10 times. 

In 2004, when President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono came to power, his administration was to use the law frequently, jailing 125 individuals during his decade in power. In 2006, Yudhoyono also introduced the “religious harmony regulation," starting another set of discrimination against religious minorities in Indonesia in building or renovating their houses of worship. 

In 2008, I joined Human Rights Watch, putting attention on these rising discrimination against religious minorities. I learned a lot from these field trips and research. I especially learned about the discriminatory regulations including the 1965 blasphemy law and the 2006 "religious harmony" regulation. I also put attention on some state institutions which facilitate religious discriminations in Indonesia: Ministry of Religious Affairs (1946), the blasphemy law office (1952), the Indonesian Ulama Council (1982) and the Religious Harmony Forum (2006). 

Here're several of my writing and interviews. 

Interviewing an Ahmadiyah Muslim on Lombok Island in 2009.

Blasphemy law puts religious minorities at risk.
Human Rights Watch, April 19, 2010

The New York Times, May 21, 2012 

Abuses against Religious Minorities in Indonesia
Human Rights Watch, February 28, 2013 

The Jakarta Globe, August 15, 2013

Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono sits down with Steve Paikin to discuss the spiritual makeup of Indonesia, its government, the violence committed against groups, and how the outside world can lend a helping hand.
The Agenda with Steve Paikin, TVO April 15, 2014

New Mandala, May 13, 2014 

New York University, February 23, 2016

Thousands were forcibly evicted from their farms in Kalimantan, relocated, detained.
Human Rights Watch, March 29, 2016

Carnegie Council, May 11, 2016

Jakarta Globe, 2016

Jakarta Governor Basuki T. Purnama.

By jailing the Jakarta governor Ahok for blasphemy, judges have sent a chilling message to moderates and non-Muslims 
The Guardian, May 10, 2017

NPR: All Things Considered, May 9, 2017

Indonesia at Melbourne, October 25, 2018 

The Jakarta Post, May 6, 2019

Reporters in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country are navigating — and too often abetting — a rising trend of reactionary Islamism.
Foreign Policy in Focus, August 21, 2019

Catholics celebrated their Sunday mass in a temporary church in 2016.

Remove provisions harmful to women, minorities, free speech
Human Rights Watch, September 18, 2019

Suzethe Margaret brings dog and faces 5 years in prison
Human Rights Watch, October 11, 2019

Human Rights Watch, October 31, 2019

The Jakarta Post, April 11, 2020 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Indonesia’s harmful restrictions on foreign journalists, academics



Kate Walton
wanted to cook klepon and she tweeted it – showing a bag of flour, pandan, coconut etc. – and Indonesians on social media were buzzing!

A white Australian woman in Canberra could make klepon, the pandan-flavored rice balls filled with palm sugar and coated in grated coconut.

She tweeted a photo of her father: “Dad was very impatient for the klepon to cook.”

Walton, 32, speaks fluent Indonesian, writes about Indonesia, has many Indonesian friends, and loves Indonesian food and culture.

She was banned from entering the country she had lived in since 2011 when immigration officials deported her in June 2019 after she was seen taking photos of a street protest in Jakarta.

She left behind her partner and their cats in Jakarta. Walton is not the only one. Several Australian journalists and academics are on the Indonesian government’s visa blacklist, meaning that their decades of research and linguistic skills go to waste.

Immigration officials stopped two others last year. One is Ross Tapsell, an expert on Indonesian media at the Australian National University. And the other is Dave McRae from Melbourne University, a writer on sectarian violence around Lake Poso, Sulawesi.

Social-cultural visas

American environmental editor Philip Jacobson in the Palangka Raya prison in January 2020.

They traveled to Indonesia on social-cultural visas, rather than on the specific visas required for academic research.

Immigration officials deported a US environmentalist, Phil Jacobson, from Indonesia earlier this year over a visa violation. The authorities detained him for three nights in January 2020, seized his passport, and accused him of using a business visa to work as a journalist in Palangka Raya.

Following the involvement of the US embassy, Jacobson was deported back to the US.

In 2014, the Indonesian authorities convicted Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois, two French journalists from Arte TV, of journalism activities without the appropriate visa and jailed them for 2.5 months in Jayapura, Papua.

In 2015, Rebecca Prosser and Neil Bonner, two British journalists from National Geographic, were jailed for three months on Batam Island, near Singapore, on similar charges.

Every country is entitled to protect its borders, enact immigration laws and regulate visas. But Indonesia’s 2011 Immigration Law is especially harsh.

Any foreigner “who deliberately misuses or engages in activities inconsistent with the intent and purpose of the residence provided to him” can be punished with up to five years in prison and fined up to Rp 500 million (US$35,000).

The law also criminalises “every person who orders or provides an opportunity for foreigners to abuse or engage in activities inconsistent with the intent or purpose of the residence provided to him”.

Meanwhile, getting a journalist visa or a research visa for Indonesia is very complicated.

18 units in ‘clearing house’

Journalists’ applications go to the Foreign Ministry, which will take it to a “clearing house” involving 18 working units from 12 government bodies.

The bodies include the Religious Affairs Ministry, the State Secretariat (the Bureau for International Technical Cooperation), the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry, the National Police, the Communication and Information Ministry, the Home Ministry, the Law and Human Rights Ministry with two participating units (Immigration and Trafficking of Migrants), the State Intelligence Agency, the Strategic Intelligence Agency and the Coordinating Political Legal and Security Affairs Ministry.

The clearing house serves as a strict gatekeeper, often denying applications outright or simply failing to approve them, placing journalists in a bureaucratic limbo.

At times the process has operated as a de facto ban on foreign journalists. Sensitive subjects that delay or deny applications include Papua, religious freedom, environmental sustainability and LGBT rights.

The clearing house system means any one ministry or bureau has veto power, which generally means that the most media-adverse department carries the day. Foreign researchers also have to go through a rigorous vetting process to get a research permit and then a visa.

It involves a clearing house at the Research and Technology and Higher Education Ministry with representatives from intelligence and security agencies.

The permit process seems to be even stricter now with the 2019 Science and Technology Law, which contains draconian criminal sanctions. The effect of the new law will be to discourage foreign researchers from coming to Indonesia, which would be detrimental to scientific advancement and international collaboration.

Extra sensitive in Papua

In places such as Kalimantan or Papua, officials are extra sensitive when seeing foreigners in their cities. In 2016, when Kate Walton was running a training programme in Timika, Papua, for an international development agency, she was detained and questioned for about five hours, despite having a visa that specified she could work in Papua.

She told me that the immigration officials thought she was “doing research illegally”.

In 2018, immigration and military officials detained and questioned a BBC correspondent, Rebecca Henschke, for 17 hours in Timika even though she had a journalist visa and a travel permit to be in Papua. Exhausted, she and her BBC crew abandoned their reporting plan.

I know Kate Walton, Phil Jacobson and other scholars and journalists well. They may have revealed uncomfortable truths about Indonesia but they also love this country very much.

We need people who will speak the truth. The health of a democracy depends on the quality of its journalism – local, national and international media – and its openness to academic research.

The Indonesian government should reform its laws to simplify the process for journalists and researchers to enter the country.

And in the interim, President Joko Widodo should encourage government officials to allow entry to journalists and academics, even those who have something critical to say about the country.



Andreas Harsono works for Human Rights Watch. He is a founding member of the Alliance of Independent Journalists, also sits on the board of the American Indonesian Exchange Foundation, the binational Fulbright Commission for Indonesia

Friday, August 07, 2020

Hak Asasi Manusia

Saya menulis ratusan esai soal hak asasi manusia, dari kebebasan sipil dan politik hingga hak akan air, dari pelanggaran di Aceh sampai Kalimantan sampai Papua. Pelanggaran dilakukan entah oleh aparat negara --dalam tugas resmi maupun tidak-- atau negara mendiamkan pelanggaran yang dilakukan oleh warga.


2020
Indonesia’s harmful restrictions on foreign journalists, academics
Kematian Seorang Waria
‘Religious harmony’ regulation brings anything but

2019
Indonesia Arrests Yet More Indigenous Papuans
Indonesia to Expand Abusive Blasphemy Law

2018
Banyuwangi: Budi Pego soal spanduk komunisme
Interview: Indonesia's anti-LGBT Tirades Disastrous Impact on Health
Fredy Akihary, a Moluccan political prisoner, died in prison in Porong



2008

2007
2006

2005

2004

2003

2001

1998