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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

FPI leader Rizieq Shihab claims ISIS flag 'rotten Indonesian intelligence operation'
Detik News – November 8, 2018
Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) "Great Leader" Habib Rizieq Shihab claims that a "rotten Indonesian intelligence operation" is the reason why he was arrested and questioned by Saudi Arabia intelligence.

West Sumatra local government to revise bylaws, use customary law to curb LGBT
Detik News – November 7, 2018
The Pariaman municipal government (pemkot) in West Sumatra will be taking more serious measures against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people in the city by using customary law. The punishments could range from paying a fine in the form of cement or a buffalo.

Law needed to safeguard nation against 'LGBT proxy war': Deputy speaker
Detik News – November 6, 2018
House of Representatives (DPR) Deputy Speaker Hidayat Nur Wahid (HNW) is calling on President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to issue a regulation on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) in the hope that in will end the polemic on LGBT in Indonesia.

Prabowo camp denies similarity between 'Boyolali face' scandal and Ahok blasphemy case
Ini Kata – November 5, 2018
The uproar over a speech by presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto in which he said that Boyolali people would not be able to get into fancy hotels because they have "Boyolali faces" is reminiscent of the blasphemy case involving former Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama.

Thousands declare 'war' on LGBT and 'immoral Western culture' in West Sumatra
Detik News – November 5, 2018
All elements of Payakumbuh City in West Sumatra have declared war on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people and other types of social illnesses.

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-Latest News
Santa Cruz Massacre: Timor-Leste's democratic transition 27 years later
Democracy Speaks – November 8, 2018
On November 12, 1991, the Indonesian military shot and killed over 250 Timorese citizens in the Santa Cruz Cemetery in Dili, Timor-Leste's capital. The event is known as the Santa Cruz massacre.

Secret Witness K brief to be debated in closed court, magistrate rules
The Guardian – November 9, 2018
Bernard Collaery and Witness K have suffered a setback in their bid to have an open court hearing on protected information in the Timor-Leste spying case.

Fears for civilians as West Papuan conflict rages
Radio New Zealand International – November 9, 2018
Humanitarian concerns are growing for West Papuans caught in the middle of conflict between Indonesia's military forces and pro-independence fighters in Papua province.

'She will be a resident of heaven': Saudi Ambassador says migrant worker's sins absolved after execution
Coconuts Jakarta – November 9, 2018
The Oct. 29 execution of Indonesian migrant worker Tuty Tursilawati by Saudi Arabian authorities, which was carried out without any prior notice to the Indonesian government and her family, added another red mark to the Middle Eastern kingdom's long list of human rights violations.

Antisexual assault movement '#kitaAGNI' gains traction
Jakarta Post – November 9, 2018
Thursday when hundreds of people, including students and lecturers of Gadjah Mada University (UGM), rallied in a show of support for Agni, the pseudonym of a female student of the Yogyakarta university who was allegedly sexually assaulted by another student over a year ago.

Munir's photograph displayed at world human rights event in Paris
Tempo – November 9, 2018
The human rights defenders from around the world gathered in Paris, France, to hold 2018 The Human Rights Defenders World Summit, on October 29-31.

BIN denies being behind Rizieq's 'extremist flag' questioning in Mecca
Jakarta Post – November 9, 2018
The State Intelligence Agency (BIN) is dismissing suggestions that it was responsible for getting firebrand cleric Rizieq Shihab investigated by Saudi authorities over the alleged installation of an extremist Islamist flag at his house in Mecca.

-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: Crackdowns on LGBTI people hit alarming level
Amnesty International News Release – November 6, 2018
LGBTI communities in Indonesia are facing increasing crackdowns both from the police and the municipal police (Satpol PP) with at least four series of arrests and public humiliations having taken place across the country in the past month, Amnesty International says.

Indonesia: Fresh wave of anti-LGBT rhetoric, arrests
Human Rights Watch News Release – October 29, 2018
Indonesian government officials made a series of anti-LGBT comments, resulting in proposals of laws which pose a serious threat to the rights and safety of LGBT Indonesians.

Correcting the record on human rights violations in West Papua and the 1969 UN resolution regarding 'Act of Free Choice'
TAPOL/East Timor and Indonesia Action Network Joint Statement – October 3, 2018
TAPOL and the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network condemn yet another wave of mass arrests [1] during the opening week of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly.

West Papua betrayed 56 years ago
Australian West Papua Association (Sydney) Media Release – September 21, 2018
On the 21st September in 1962 the UNGA debated the New York Agreement and voted to pass a Dutch-Indonesia resolution on it by 89 votes to none. There were 14 abstentions.

West Papuans in more danger from security forces ahead of UN General Assembly
United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) – September 21, 2018
Ahead of next week's 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Indonesian security forces have been executing a violent campaign to crackdown on freedom of expression in West Papua.

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: Trade unions' initiative to create alternative political force in Indonesia
ISEAS Perspectives – August 10, 2018
Five trade union confederations organised a conference in April 2018 that brought together like-minded progressive trade unions, non-government organisations, student activists and political groups, to push for an alternative political force which would be independent of the two major power blocs led by President Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto.

Indonesia: How corrupt elections fuel the sell-off of Indonesia's natural resources
Mongabay – June 7, 2018
In June this year, elections will take place in 171 districts, provinces and municipalities across Indonesia. On paper, millions of citizens in the world's third-largest democracy will be afforded the right to select leaders with extensive powers over their everyday lives.

Indonesia: Democracy in Indonesia: A progress report
The Foreign Service Journal – May 1, 2018
With a population of more than 260 million and an economy that ranks tenth in the world, Indonesia appears destined to be one of the major international players of the 21st century.

Indonesia: Indonesian domestic helpers on sex abuse, slavery-like conditions they endure working overseas
The Star Online – April 8, 2018
Ernawati made great sacrifices for the well-being of her family. She was married at 14 to a man six years her senior and became the breadwinner two years later, when she first travelled to Saudi Arabia, to work as a domestic helper.

Indonesia: The Muslim Cyber Army: what is it and what does it want?
Indonesia at Melbourne – March 20, 2018
On 1 March, the Indonesian National Police announced the arrest of 14 members of the so-called Muslim Cyber Army (MCA) network for defamation, spreading hoax news and hate speech. Although the name might be familiar to most social media and internet users in Indonesia, it remains a nebulous and poorly understood network.

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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
Indonesian police harass transgender women
Human Rights Watch Dispatches – November 8, 2018
Police in Indonesia's Lampung province were caught on video arresting and humiliating three transgender women, known as waria, the latest incident of rising state-sanctioned violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Indonesia.

Islamic 'vaccine fatwa' triggers plunging vaccination rates in Indonesia
Breitbart – November 8, 2018
Millions of children in Indonesia are missing out on crucial vaccines because of a "vaccine fatwa" imposed by powerful Islamic clerics, Science Magazine reported on Thursday.

For banks funding palm oil giants, it pays to stop destructive practices
Asian Correspondent – November 8, 2018
On Sept 19, Indonesian President Joko Widodo slapped a three-year moratorium on the issuance of new licenses for oil palm plantations.

Rights groups call for end to police crackdown on Indonesian LGBT group
Asian Correspondent – November 7, 2018
Rights groups in Indonesia are alarmed by the recent spate of arrests involving the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transvestite (LGBT) community in the Muslim-majority Southeast Asian nation.

'Victim blaming' in latest UGM sex abuse case angers thousands
Jakarta Post – November 7, 2018
Gadjah Mada University's (UGM) initial response to a recent sexual assault case allegedly involving two of its students has angered thousands of people, who have signed a petition demanding that the Yogyakarta university punish the student perpetrator and the campus officials that had penalized the student victim.

Saudi authorities question Rizieq over 'extremist' flag at his house in Mecca
Jakarta Post – November 7, 2018
Saudi Arabian security authorities have questioned Rizieq Shihab, a firebrand cleric who has been on the run in the country, over reports of the installation of an Islamist flag at his house in Mecca, the Foreign Ministry has said.

Prabowo apologizes for controversial 'Boyolali faces' remarks
Jakarta Post – November 7, 2018
Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto has apologized for his remarks on "Boyolali faces" that has sparked people's outrage, especially in the Central Java regency of Boyolali.

Indonesian comics tread fine line between humor, blasphemy
Jakarta Post – November 7, 2018
On Oct. 20, up-and-coming comedian Tretan Muslim uploaded the latest episode of his comedic cooking series "Last Hope Kitchen" onto YouTube.

Trial of former Australian spy could hear evidence in secret
Associated Press – November 7, 2018
Lawyers prosecuting a former spy and his lawyer who accuse Australia of illegally bugging the East Timorese Cabinet while negotiating a deal to share oil and gas revenue have made an application that could lead to the court being closed during the trial.

Witness K lawyers in fight to head off closed court hearing
The Guardian – November 7, 2018
Lawyers for the whistleblower Witness K and lawyer Bernard Collaery have pushed the ACT magistrates court to make a ruling about national security information in a bid to head off a possible closed court hearing.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale calls for BP rethink on West Papuan gas field
New Matilda – November 6, 2018
Greens leader Richard Di Natale has added his voice to growing calls across the international community for one of the world's biggest oil companies to rethink its involvement in a gas-mining operation in occupied West Papua, as Indonesia continues to face accusations of grave human rights abuses.

Two Liberation Army members killed in latest Papua fighting
Radio New Zealand International – November 5, 2018
Two more West Papua Liberation Army members have been killed in hostilities with Indonesia's military in the Highlands of Papua province.

Pemuda Pancasila meets Jokowi, offers help
Tempo – November 5, 2018
Youth organization Pemuda Pancasila (Pancasila Youths/PP) met Monday with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at Merdeka Palace on Monday, November 5.

French Pacific territory New Caledonia rejects independence
Australian Associated Press – November 5, 2018
The decision to keep ties with France was a watershed moment for the archipelago that lies east of Australia and has sun-kissed lagoons and a strong nickel mining industry.

Saudi execution spotlights domestic workers' vulnerable lives
Deutsche Welle (DW) – November 3, 2018
Saudi Arabia's decision to execute an Indonesian domestic worker has triggered a diplomatic row between the two nations. The maid's case highlights the dangers faced by foreign workers in Saudi households.

Farmers dispute palm oil prosperity claims
Jakarta Post – November 3, 2018
Farmers have challenged claims that the palm oil industry has brought prosperity to smallholders and reduced poverty, as millions still struggle to get land ownership documents and earn enough money to meet their basic needs.

Will Timor-Leste become China's next debt trap?
Asia Times – November 2, 2018
Timor-Leste, Southeast Asia's newest and poorest nation, is slowly but surely drawing closer to China, a move that is raising antenna among its allies and neighbors and initial concerns it could fall into a potential Chinese debt trap.

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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