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The Observatory: Indonesia: Brutal attack against journalist Banjir Ambarita

March 25, 2011


IDN 001 / 0311 / OBS 049



March 25, 2011

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in *Indonesia*.

*Description of the situation:*

* *

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources of the brutal attack against Mr. *Banjir Ambarita*, journalist, after the publication of several of his articles in the local newspaper /Bintang Papua/ of Jayapura, Papua province, and in the/ Jakarta Globe/, denouncing sexual abuses committed by police officers in Jayapura.

According to the information received, on March 3, 2011, Mr. Banjir Ambarita was riding his motorcycle in front of the Jayapura Mayor?s office, when two unknown men on a motorcycle reportedly approached him, stabbed him twice in the chest and stomach and fled. As he began to bleed, Mr. Banjir Ambarita drove to the nearby police station. Police officers took him to the Marthen Indey Hospital in Aryoko, Jayapura, where he underwent surgery. He has reportedly recovered since then.

The Papua Regional Police and the Jayapura Police have set up a joint force to investigate the case, but to date, perpetrators remain unknown.

Mr. Banjir Ambarita had recently written articles in the /Bintang Papua/ and in the /Jakarta Globe/ about two alleged rape cases involving the police.

In the first article, he had written that four police officers and three civilians allegedly raped and tortured a 15 year old girl in February 2011, in Biak, Papua province. The last article, dated February 27, 2011, covered a second case in which three police officers forced a woman detainee to perform oral sex on them from November 2010 to January 2011 at the Jayapura Police Detention Centre in Papua province. The media coverage of this incident led to the resignation of the Jayapura?s Police Chief, Mr. Imam Setiawan, and to the sentencing to 21 days of jail for the officers involved.

The Observatory expresses its deepest concern about the attack on Mr. Banjir Ambarita, which seems to merely aim at sanctioning his denunciation of human rights violations, and urges the authorities to ensure his protection and to promptly investigate into the above-mentioned facts.

*Actions requested:*

* *

The Observatory urges the authorities of Indonesia to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Banjir Ambarita, as well as all human rights defenders in Indonesia;

ii. Carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the above-mentioned events, the result of which must be made public, in order to prosecute and try the perpetrators of these violations before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal;

iii. Conform in all circumstances with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted on December 9, 1998 by the United Nations General Assembly, in particular:

– Article 1, which states that ?Everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to promote the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels?;

– Article 6, which provides that: ?Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others: (a) to know, seek, obtain, receive and hold information about all human rights and fundamental freedoms (?); (b) freely to publish, impart or disseminate to others views, information and knowledge on all human rights and fundamental freedoms?; (c) to study, discuss, form and hold opinions on the observance, both in law and in practice, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and, through these and other appropriate means, to draw public attention to those matters?,

– Article 12.2 which provides that ?The State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration?;

iv. Ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Indonesia.

* *


* HE. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of the Republic of
Indonesia, Presidential Palace, Istana Merdeka, Jakarta 10110,
Indonesia; Fax: +6221 345 2685/526 8726
* Mr. Gamawan Fauzi. Minister of Home Affairs, Jl. Medan Merdeka
Utara No. 7, Jakarta Pusat, Indonesia, Fax +62 21 385 1193 / +62
21 384 6430, Email: *pusdatinkomtel*
* Mr. Patrialis Akbar, Minister for Justice and Human Rights,
Department of Justice and Human Rights, Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav
No. 4-5, Kuningan – Jakarta Selatan 12950, Indonesia, Fax: + 62 21
525 3095/ 310 4149/ 522 5036, Email: *rohumas*
* Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights, Jl. Latuharhary No
4B, Menteng, Jakarta Pusat 10310, Indonesia, Fax : +62 21 392
5227, Email: *info* <mailto:info>
* Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia in Geneva, Rue de
Saint-Jean 16, Case Postale 2271, 1211 Geneva 2, Suisse, Fax: +41
22 345 57 33, Email: *mission.indonesia*

· *Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia to the Kingdom of Belgium, *Boulevard de la Woluwe 38, B-1200, Brussels, Belgium, Fax primebxl* <mailto:primebxl>

Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Indonesia in your respective countries.

Geneva-Paris, March 25, 2011

* *

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, an OMCT and FIDH venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:

· E-mail: Appeals <xjavascript:top.opencompose%28%27Appeals%27,%27%27,%27%27,%27%27%29>

· Tel and fax OMCT + 41 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

· Tel and fax FIDH + 33 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80

049 IDN_001_0311_OBS_049.pdf

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