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Click to change imageThe Asia Pacific Solidarity Network (APSN) is a network of activists who are building solidarity with and support for movements for social justice, genuine democracy and self-determination around the Asia Pacific region.

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APSN – The activist resource site on Indonesia, East Timor and West Papua. Over 20 years of archived reports and articles. APSN also has an wide range of essential resources, archived news and press releases, links and background reports on the Asia-Pacific region. Site map

News reports translated from Indonesian language news sources.

Indonesia's peak religious body supports beheadings for murderers in Aceh
CNN Indonesia – March 15, 2018
The Indonesian Ulama Council's (MUI) Religious Outreach Commission chairperson, Cholil Nafis, agrees with a plan to apply beheadings (hukum pancung, qisas) for murderers whihh is currently being considered by the Aceh Islamic Law Office.

Jokowi threatens to 'clobber' people who spread hoaxes about communist links
Kompas.com – March 14, 2018
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has issued a strong warning against people who spread slander accusing him of being linked to the banned Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).

Amid souring murder rates, Aceh considers beheading for capital crimes
Detik News – March 14, 2018
The Aceh Islam Law Office (DSI) is debating the application of Qisas – retributive justice – for perpetrators of crimes such as murder in order to push down crime rates which have been rising of late.

IWD rally in Jakarta slams Criminal Code revisions, attacks on democracy
Detik News – March 8, 2018
Women activists from a number of different organisations commemorated International Women's Day (IWD) with demands for equality and opposing discrimination, violence, intolerance and poverty.

IWD rally at national parliament demands equality, protection for domestic workers
Antara News – March 8, 2018
International Women's Day (IWD), which was commemorated in Jakarta on Thursday, demanded equality for women in all spheres of life, including the workplace.

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-Latest News
Papuan political prisoner sentenced for treason
Radio New Zealand International – March 14, 2018
A member of the pro-independence West Papua National Committee has been given a ten-month jail sentence for treason by an Indonesian court.

Vigilantes in Aceh raid salon, turn man and transwoman over to religious police
Coconuts Jakarta – March 14, 2018
Vigilantism in the name of ultra-conservative morality continues unabated in Aceh, the only province of Indonesia given special autonomy to enact sharia-based laws. The latest incident involves a man and a transwoman who were rounded up by self-appointed moral police after being accused of prostitution.

Criticism of parliament potentially criminalized as MD3 law goes into effect today
Coconuts Jakarta – March 14, 2018
If you have something bad to say about Indonesia's House of Representatives (DPR) or any of its members, you'd best say it extremely carefully. A controversial law passed by the DPR one month ago, referred to as UU MD3, goes into effect starting today.

Muslim Cyber Army: a 'fake news' operation designed to derail Indonesia's leader
The Guardian – March 13, 2018
Police in Indonesia believe they have uncovered a clandestine fake news operation designed to corrupt the political process and destabilise the government.

West Papua's enduring struggle for independence
Asia Times – March 13, 2018
The next two years could prove to be transformative for Melanesia, a region of Pacific islands spanning from Papua in the west to Fiji in the east. Two votes on independence, scheduled in 2018 and 2019, could bring two new nations into the fold and shake up the politics of a region where decolonization is still a pressing matter.

Gas profits and China fears drive Australia-Timor boundary treaty
World Socialist Website – March 13, 2018
Acrimonious disputes are continuing between the governments of Australia and the tiny neighouring state of East Timor despite last week's signing at the UN in New York of what the media misleadingly called an "historic" maritime boundary treaty covering the oil- and gas-rich Timor Sea.

-Drunken Republic
Click to view imagesDrunken Republic

The lighter (or darker) side of Indonesian politics.

-Red Flag
Red Flag is the fortnightly newspaper of the Australian socialist organisation Socialist Alternative. More >>

-Statements & Press Releases
Indonesia: Medical groups silent on abusive 'virginity tests'
Human Rights Watch Statement – March 7, 2018
Indonesian medical associations should publicly denounce so-called virginity tests obligatory for female applicants to the Indonesian National Armed Forces and National Police, Human Rights Watch said in letters sent on February 20, 2018.

Indonesia: War against terrorism should respect human rights and the Rule of Law
Asian Human Rights Commission Statement – March 6, 2018
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), a regional, non-governmental, human rights organization in Asia, has learned of the current situation on the war against terrorism in Indonesia.

Indonesia: New Penal Code Bill needs serious revision
Asian Human Rights Commission Statement – March 2, 2018
Indonesia's penal code, a legacy of Dutch colonialism, has been discussed for many years in the parliament, resulting in academic papers and draft revisions of the law. Nonetheless, little progress has been achieved, with an official discussion in parliament only beginning in 2015, under President Joko Widodo's administration.

Political instability reflects political cronyism
Fundasaun Mahein Statement – March 1, 2018
Since last July, Timor-Leste has endured political gridlock that has kept attention on political parties and sidelined the development of policies that could benefit the people of Timor-Leste.

Timorese patience and determination pays off – new treaty to establish permanent maritime boundaries for the first time
Timor Sea Justice Campaign Media Release – February 27, 2018
East Timor's decision to drag the Australian Government to "compulsory conciliation" at the UN has paid off – a new and better treaty is set to be signed next week.

Indonesia told to respect media freedom in Papua after expelling BBC reporter
Pacific Freedom Forum (PFF) Statement – February 20, 2018
Jakarta must regain authority over Papua, demands PFF, the Pacific Freedom Forum, after the latest action by "rogue" security forces.

Indonesia: Police must protect – not attack – transgender women living under threat in Aceh
Amnesty International Press Release – February 14, 2018
Indonesian authorities are completely failing to protect the transgender women who were appallingly ill-treated and humiliated by police in North Aceh on January 27, some of whom have since had to go into hiding due to fears for their safety, Amnesty International Indonesia said today.

Statements, press releases, solidarity and urgent appeals are archived under their country specific page/section, which can be selected from the drop-down menu on the left.

News, in-depth reports and analysis focusing on political developments in the Asia Pacific region.

Indonesia: Indonesia's minority report
New Mandala – February 14, 2018
Late last month, The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) issued its 2017 Democracy Index report. In what was a grim year worldwide for five broad categories of democratic indicators – electoral process and pluralism, functioning of government, political participation, democratic political culture, and civil liberties – the worst performing country was Indonesia.

Indonesia: Absent Ahok, anti-Chinese sentiment on artists' minds at Indonesia shows that test the bounds of tolerance
South China Morning Post – November 17, 2017
There isn't a single image of jailed former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama to be seen, but the man commonly referred to by his Hakka Chinese nickname Ahok looms large at one of the biggest events on the Indonesian art calendar.

Indonesia: Why is the Industrial Relations Court failing workers?
Indonesia at Melbourne – November 15, 2017
Every International Labour Day, workers across Indonesia conduct major protests against outsourcing, low wages, and workforce liberalisation policies. This is perhaps to be expected but more surprising are the calls in recent years for the Industrial Relations Court to be closed down.

Indonesia: Behind Indonesia's illiberal turn
New Mandala – October 20, 2017
The past year or so has seen conspicuous setbacks to Indonesian democracy's capacity to protect many social rights, including of some of the more vulnerable members of society – most notably women, religious and sexual minorities, and victims of the 1965-66 mass killings.

Indonesia: A new ideological contestation emerging in Indonesia?
ISEAS Perspectives – October 19, 2017
A long period of ideological vacuum in mainstream politics came to an end in the lead-up to the 2014 presidential elections and was further confirmed in the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial elections.

More >>

Max Lane’s Blog – Commentary and analysis on the history, contemporary politics and culture of Indonesian and its relationships with Australia and the world.

-Earlier this week
Timor-Leste gives Xanana Gusmao hero's welcome
UCA News – March 12, 2018
Timor-Leste's former president and prime minister Xanana Gusmao returned home in triumph on March 11 with a new maritime treaty with Australia, but warned the battle to win a favorable oil and gas deal with the country's giant neighbor remained far from over.

Police raided home of 'lesbians' after neighbours said they 'don't fit norms of society'
Pink News – March 12, 2018
Police in Indonesia have raided the home of two women accused of being a "lesbian couple". Neighbours of the women accused them of being a couple and said that they were uncomfortable about it, sparking a raid carried out by the Civil Service Police Unit.

Indonesia is rounding up trans people and forcing them into 'rehabilitation'
Star Observer – March 12, 2018
Indonesia's government is reportedly rounding up trans people in Jakarta and forcing them into 'rehabilitation' for the 'violation' of being transgender. The Jakarta Social Agency has now said it considers trans people to be 'people with social dysfunctional traits' in the latest instance of LGBTI people being persecuted in Indonesia.

Islamic university reverses niqab face veil ban after barrage of criticism
Coconuts Jakarta – March 12, 2018
Last week, Sunan Kalijaga Islamic State University (UIN) in Yogyakarta made headlines in Indonesia and around the world after the university's dean made the controversial decision to ban women, including students and faculty, from wearing the niqab (Islamic face veil).

Step up efforts to support Indonesian women's rights plea to Jakarta
Asia Pacific Report – March 12, 2018
The National Commission on Violence Against Women, or Komnas Perempuan, has called on the government to do more to protect women's rights, particularly by enacting a long-overdue bill on the elimination of sexual violence.

Daughters celebrate 'Soeharto month' at TMII
Jakarta Post – March 12, 2018
Former president Soeharto's daughters, Siti Hediati Hariyadi, or Titiek Soeharto, and Siti Hutami Endang Adiningsih, or Mamiek Soeharto, attended the peak of an event called HM Soeharto Month in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah in East Jakarta on Sunday.

Hoax, SARA better political tools than money politics
Tempo – March 10, 2018
Lingkar Madani (Lima) director Ray Rangkuti said that the most effective tool to win an election is to spread hoaxes and exploit issues on ethnic, religious, racial and societal group (SARA).

Former activist for Munir comments on Berkarya Party
Tempo – March 10, 2018
Former Secretary of the Solidarity Action Committee for Munir, Choirul Anam said that he is pleased that Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto – convicted killer of human rights defender Munir – is actively participating in the Berkarya Party established by Tommy Soeharto.

Yogyakartan women activists oppose face veil ban
Jakarta Post – March 9, 2018
To celebrate this year's International Women's Day, female rights advocacy groups joined with the Yogyakarta Women's Struggle Committee (KPP) to stage a rally on Thursday to call for the fulfillment of women's rights and the freedom to wear clothing of their choice, including face veils.

West Papua's fight for independence
Open Democracy – March 9, 2018
West Papuans have it much harder than Scots or Catalans. In West Papua it is illegal to fly the independence flag. In guidebooks it is referred to as the country's final frontier. It is a vast territory consisting of mostly unspoiled wilderness and a relatively sparse population.

International Women's Day is moment to end abusive 'virginity tests'
Asia Times – March 9, 2018
Indonesian President Joko Widodo last week tweeted his support for International Women's Day by declaring that "building Indonesia, we need tough women." That message suggested support for a day dedicated to "empowering women in all settings."

Anticorruption activist beaten in North Sumatra
Jakarta Post – March 9, 2018
An anticorruption activist in Toba Samosir regency, North Sumatra, was beaten by unidentified assailants in front of his wife and children on Thursday.

Activists march against violence toward women in Papua
Jakarta Post – March 8, 2018
Dozens of women and several men marched in Jayapura, Papua, to show their support for the fight against gender-based violence on International Women's Day on Thursday. They gave flowers and areca nuts to people driving around Abepura traffic circle in Jayapura, Papua, on Thursday.

Treaty signing brings measure of justice for East Timor
Melbourne Age Editorial – March 8, 2018
At long last Australia has done something like the right thing by East Timor in the dispute over the maritime boundary the countries share. But it has done so only after trying every other alternative for nearly five decades.

The Australian who spent millions fighting for justice for Timor
New Daily – March 8, 2018
In 2005, Australian businessman Ian Melrose spent $3.5 million of his own money to support Timor-Leste's fight with Australia over lucrative oil and gas fields in the Timor Sea.

Timor-Leste: architect of its own Sunrise
Inside Story – March 8, 2018
When Timor-Leste terminated the CMATS treaty with Australia early last year, it overturned its fifty-year moratorium on boundary negotiations. Ending the decade-old agreement was essential to securing its objective of a permanent maritime boundary.

Bullied relations: Aus, East Timor and natural resources
Scoop – March 8, 2018
In the scheme of things, Australia has deputised as regional bully for imperial powers since it became an outpost of the British empire. Neighbouring states have been ridiculed, mocked and derided as sub-human and incapable.

News archives

  • News reports on Aceh, Indonesia and West Papua are archived in the Indonesia News Digests.
  • News reports on East Timor are archived in the East Timor News Digests.
  • Other news reports are archived under their country specific page/section.
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