Leiden Law Blog

Press Freedom in Indonesia?

Press Freedom in Indonesia?

“Foreign journalists, as of today, are allowed to enter Papua as freely as they can enter other provinces”, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, alias ‘Jokowi’, said during his visit to Papua on 10 May 2015. He thereby fulfilled a promise he made during his presidential campaign in June 2014. Foreign journalists no longer have to request special permission from the Foreign Ministry to report on Papua as had been required for decades. But to what extent will this effectively influence press freedom in Papua?

The press in Papua has been under serious pressure for many years. Indonesian and international journalists have been controlled and occasionally confronted with abuses by Indonesian security forces. In 2010, Ardiansyah Matrais, a journalist, was found death in the river in Merauke, Papua, after he had reported on excessive exploitation over natural resources in Papua. The case remains unresolved. Viva journalist Banjir Ambarita was stabbed by two unknown men after reporting on two alleged rape cases involving the police in Papua. These are only a few of the cases that fueled resentment among Papuans.

But Jokowi’s decision appears to have been particularly influenced by international pressure. In 2014, two French journalists, Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat, were prosecuted for allegedly filming members of the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM).  This case led to an international campaign against restrictions on press freedom in Papua. Journalists organised strikes on World Press Freedom Day, 3rd May 2015, in at least 20 cities worldwide, and were supported by numerous human rights organisations.

The most serious problem for press freedom –not merely in Papua, but throughout Indonesia- is related to the legal protection system and impunity for those who breach press freedom. Although the country has ratified almost all international instruments of human rights, and since 1999 press freedom has been formally guaranteed by the Press Law, the legal protection of journalists remains weak. The transition from Suharto’s authoritarian New Order to a democratic regime initially led to a truly free press. But gradually new limitations appeared.

Indonesia’s current legal system has many criminal provisions that can be used against the press. Several of them have indeed been used to ‘discipline’ newspapers, including legislation on hate speech, insult, spreading false news, and violating public decency. Moreover, the Press Council considered the court system as an intimidation mechanism rather than offering protection to journalists.

Compared to the New Order's authoritarian Suharto regime, violence against journalists has become more ‘localised’ and ‘privatised’. It is no longer primarily the national government that constrains the press. As a result of decentralisation of political power, predatory elites at local level have increasingly been able to pressure journalists

Whereas after decentralisation in most parts of Indonesia private parties are putting pressure on the press, in Papua the national government continues to play a controversial role. In a contradictory statement, the Military Chief of Information Centre, Major General M. Fuad Basya, said that Jokowi's statement does not automatically guarantee access to Papua for foreign journalist. They should instead obtain a permit from the 'Security House' that is part of the 'Clearing House' to control journalists. It remains to be seen whether Jokowi will be able control the threats to press freedom coming from state actors.

The situation in Indonesia teaches us that a more democratic government structure and improvements in the legal structure do not automatically lead to a better protection of human rights such as the freedom of the press. When assessing the impact of legal and institutional changes, one always needs to be aware of practices in the field. 

1 Comment

Al Tan
Posted on December 25, 2016 at 23:17 by Al Tan

THE ADVANTAGES OF LED LIGHTING

LED (light-emitting diode) lighting is totally different from traditional lighting, as the bulbs produce light by using semi-conductors. In a nutshell, it’s digital light.

They don’t seem to be a new phenomenon; LEDs have been used in Christmas fairy lights, remote controls and digital devices for an extended time. More just lately they’ve begun to be more extensively available for lighting within the house, and have shortly develop into a vastly well-liked, energy efficient lighting solution. Listed below are some of the main advantages of utilizing LED lighting:

LED lights are much longer lasting than other varieties of light bulb, and the expected life of each bulb is around a hundred,000 hours. If your light was on for eight hours every day, the bulb would final somewhere within the area of 20 years. In consequence, the upkeep required to interchange the bulbs is much less too, which can be notably useful in a industrial or office environment.

LEDs convert approximately 80-90% of the energy they use into light making them among the many most energy environment friendly bulbs you possibly can buy. Traditional bulbs, on the other hand, can convert as little as 10-20% of the energy they use into light, which implies the lampu panggung remaining 80-90% is misplaced as heat. This implies while you choose LED bulbs you are actually paying to light your private home, slightly than for the lost energy when using other, less energy environment friendly types of light bulb.

Not like many energy saving light bulbs, with LED there’s no need to attend for the bulbs to light up fully. They emit their full light straight away. Over time, the light they give off becomes slightly less vivid, but they don’t usually burn out in the same approach that traditional bulbs can.

LED lighting only requires a low-voltage energy provide, so it may possibly easily be used in conjunction with photo voltaic energy.

They’re more durable and hard-carrying too, and are climate and shock resistant. They can additionally stand up to extreme high and low temperatures far more efficiently than different bulbs, which makes them a unbelievable selection for out of doors lighting.

LED bulbs are additionally more ecologically friendly than different types of bulb, as they do not contain poisonous chemical compounds corresponding to mercury (which many other bulbs can) and are completely recyclable.

LED lights produce subsequent to no UV emissions and very little infrared light. This makes them the ideal choice for these with heightened sensitivity to UV rays or in areas containing materials the place UV exposure should be minimised, such as artwork exhibitions and museums, for example.
Thanks to rapidly creating know-how, LEDs are becoming much cheaper than they used to be. They’re nonetheless more costly than other forms of light bulb, but in many ways their different benefits outweigh the fee factor.

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