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Indonesia
25.03.11
Urgent Interventions

Brutal attack against journalist Banjir Ambarita

URGENT APPEAL- THE OBSERVATORY

IDN 001 / 0311 / OBS 049

Attack

Indonesia

March 25, 2011


TheObservatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme ofthe World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federationfor Human Rights (FIDH), has received new information and requests your urgentintervention in the following situation in Indonesia.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory hasbeen informed by reliable sources of the brutal attack against Mr. Banjir Ambarita,journalist, after the publication of several of his articles in the localnewspaper Bintang Papua of Jayapura, Papua province, and in theJakarta Globe, denouncing sexual abuses committed by police officers in Jayapura.

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

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

Mr. Banjir Ambarita had recently written articles in the BintangPapua and in the Jakarta Globe about two alleged rape casesinvolving the police.

In the first article, he had written that four police officers and threecivilians allegedly raped and tortured a 15 year old girl in February 2011, inBiak, Papua province. The last article, dated February 27, 2011, covered a second case inwhich three police officers forced a woman detainee to perform oral sex on themfrom November 2010 to January 2011 at the Jayapura Police Detention Centre inPapua province. The media coverage of this incident led to the resignation ofthe Jayapura’s Police Chief, Mr. Imam Setiawan, and to the sentencing to 21days 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 ofhuman rights violations, and urges the authorities to ensure his protection and to promptlyinvestigate into the above-mentioned facts.

Actions requested:

The Observatory urges the authorities of Indonesia to:

i. Guarantee in allcircumstances 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-mentionedevents, the result of which must be made public, in order to prosecute and trythe perpetrators of these violations before a competent, independent andimpartial tribunal;

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

- Article 1, which states that “Everyone hasthe right, individually or in association with others, to promote theprotection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at thenational and international levels”;

- Article 6, which provides that: “Everyone has the right,individually and in association with others: (a) to know, seek, obtain, receiveand 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 rightsand fundamental freedoms”; (c) to study, discuss, form and hold opinions on the observance, both inlaw and in practice, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and, throughthese and other appropriate means, to draw public attention to those matters”,

- Article 12.2 which provides that “The State shall take all necessarymeasures 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 otherarbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of therights referred to in the present Declaration”;

iv. Ensure inall circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms inaccordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and withinternational and regional human rights instruments ratified by Indonesia.

Addresses:

  • HE.Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of the Republic of Indonesia,Presidential Palace, Istana Merdeka, Jakarta 10110, Indonesia; Fax: +6221345 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@depdagri.go.id
  • Mr.Patrialis Akbar, Minister for Justice and Human Rights, Department ofJustice and Human Rights, Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav No. 4-5, Kuningan -Jakarta Selatan 12950, Indonesia, Fax: + 62 21 525 3095/ 310 4149/ 5225036, Email: rohumas@depkehham.go.id
  • IndonesianNational Commission on Human Rights, Jl. Latuharhary No 4B, Menteng,Jakarta Pusat 10310, Indonesia, Fax : +62 21 392 5227, Email: info@komnasham.go.id
  • PermanentMission of the Republic of Indonesia in Geneva, Rue de Saint-Jean 16, CasePostale 2271, 1211 Geneva 2, Suisse, Fax: +41 22 345 57 33, Email: mission.indonesia@ties.itu.int

· Embassyof the Republic of Indonesia to the Kingdom of Belgium, Boulevard de la Woluwe 38, B-1200, Brussels, Belgium,Fax +32 27 72 82 10, Email: primebxl@skynet.be

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

***
Geneva-Paris, March 25, 2011

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

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

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:

· E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org

· Tel and fax OMCT + 4122 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

· Tel and fax FIDH + 331 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80

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