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APSN – The activist resource site on Indonesia, East Timor and West Papua. Over 19 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.

Jokowi: Anti-Pancasila and communist groups, we'll clobber them, stamp them out
Kompas.com – May 19, 2017
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has reaffirmed that the state ideology of Pancasila is the one and only ideology that is acceptable in Indonesia.

Activists call for full investigation into Wiji Thukul art exhibition closure
Kompas.com – May 16, 2017
Seven men and three women stood in front of the entrance to the governor's office on Jl. Malioboro in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on Tuesday May 16. Each could be seen holding cardboard placards in front of their chests.

Candle lit vigil in for Ahok in Makassar broken up by Islamic vigilantes
Detik News – May 13, 2017
A candlelight vigil for Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama in front of the Stella Maris Hospital in Losari Beach, Makassar, was forcibly broken up by members of the South Sulawesi Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and Makassar Islamic Students Association (HMI) on the evening of Saturday May 13.

Anti-communist vigilantes close down Wiji Thukul art exhibition in Yogyakarta
Detik News – May 8, 2017
An exhibition displaying the art works of Andreas Iswinarto in the Bantul regency of Yogyakarta province has been closed down by the mass organisation Pancasila Youth (PP).

Like being pursued by the ghost of communism
Nurcholis ART – May 5, 2017
SAFEnet Voice has recorded that since 2015, 73 percent of violations against freedom of expression have been committed on the grounds of spreading communism.

May Day rally in Yogyakarta highlights low wages, poverty
Detik News – May 1, 2017
International Labour Day or May Day was commemorated by a number of different groups with rallies in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta. The main location for the protests was the Jl. Malioboro shopping district and the zero kilometre point in front of the central post office.

May Day rallies in Bandung highlight low wages, lack of healthcare services
Tempo.co – May 1, 2017
Actions by a variety of groups celebrating Labour Day or May Day on May 1 in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung were centred on Jl. Diponegoro in front of the Sate Building, the West Java governor's office.

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-Latest News
Indonesian police arrest more than 140 men at alleged gay sauna party
The Guardian – May 22, 2017
Indonesian police have arrested more than 100 men in a weekend raid on a gay sauna in the capital Jakarta, a day before two men are to be publicly flogged for having same sex relations.

President must thwart public caning of two men convicted of sodomy: HRW
Jakarta Post – May 22, 2017
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned the Aceh administration's plan to sentence two men to public caning for engaging in same-sex relations. They will be subject to 85 lashes.

No room for communism: Luhut
Jakarta Post – May 22, 2017
Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan has called on people not to worry about a communist resurgence in the country because he said the government would not let the banned ideology return.

Two dead in latest spate of violence in Papua
Radio New Zealand International – May 22, 2017
There's been more deadly violence in Indonesia's Papua province. The body of a 45-year old woman from Maluku province was discovered outside a power plant in Waena, near Jayapura, early on Saturday morning.

Let them eat cake!!
Ugly Truth Thailand – May 21, 2017
Generalissimo Prayut has been frothing at the mouth about the poor. The junta's idea about dealing with poverty was to make poor people go through the demeaning process of registering themselves as "poor" in order to receive small miserable payments.

Thousands support Indonesian petition to repeal blasphemy law
Asia Pacific Report – May 20, 2017
Indonesians have called on President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to immediately repeal Article 156a on religious blasphemy of the Criminal Code (KUHP), with thousands of people having signed an online petition urging the government to do so.

Thousands of Freeport Indonesia workers to strike for second month: union
Reuters – May 20, 2017
An estimated 9,000 workers at the giant Grasberg copper mine operated by the Indonesian unit of Freeport McMoRan Inc will extend a strike for a second month, a union official said on Saturday, in an ongoing dispute over employment terms and layoffs.

As Muslim split deepens, Indonesia creaks under weight of intolerance
South China Morning Post – May 20, 2017
Indonesia has moved to disband the decades-old hardline group Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia (HTI). In a speech on May 8, retired general Wiranto, now a government minster, listed three grounds: that HTI had not assumed a positive role in the country's efforts to achieve national goals.

-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.

'Drastic situation' for minorities in Myanmar – March 20, 2017
The fall of Park Geun-hye – Kim Bullimore. March 16, 2017
Socialist leader assassinated in the Philippines – March 10, 2017
Trump's China aggression drawing Australia closer to war – By Tom Bramble. February 5, 2017
Refugees on Manus Island and Nauru should be brought to Australia – By Con Karavias. February 5, 2017
Mass arrests in Indonesia during West Papua protests – By Arnold Belau. December 2, 2016
Big anti-government protests continue in South Korea – By Kim Bullimore. November 22, 2016
Malaysian students threatened by Monash University – By Tess Dimos. November 21, 2016

More >>

-Statements & Press Releases
Indonesia: Stop public flogging of gay men
Human Rights Watch Statement – May 19, 2017
Indonesia's President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo should immediately intervene to prevent the scheduled May 23, 2017 public flogging of two young men convicted of same-sex sexual relations, Human Rights Watch said today.

Papua remains restricted under Widodo; 72 cases of violence against journalists
Alliance of Independent Journalists Statement – May 19, 2017
Two cases of violence against journalists in Papua in the past week highlight the empty promise of Press Law protections in Indonesia's easternmost province, as well as the false hopes of President Joko Widodo, who more than two years ago promised to open foreign press access to the area.

Timor Leste journalists facing jail for defamation
International Federation of Journalists Statement – May 18, 2017
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliates the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) and the South East Asia Journalist Unions (SEAJU) in strongly condemning the latest development in the slanderous denunciation case against Timor Leste journalists Oki Raimundos and Lourenco Martins.

Indonesia: Revoke the caning sentence of gay men in Aceh
Amnesty International Public Statement – May 17, 2017
Responding to the sentencing of two gay men to 85 lashes each for consensual same-sex sexual relations, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Josef Benedict, said:

Indonesia: Government should drop the blasphemy law
Asian Human Rights Commission Statement – May 11, 2017
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has learned about the implementation of The Blasphemy Law Number 1/PNPS/1965 on the Prevention of "Religious Abuse and/or Defamation.

Indonesia: Ahok conviction for blasphemy is an injustice
Amnesty International Statement – May 9, 2017
The conviction and imprisonment of Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known as "Ahok", will tarnish Indonesia's reputation for tolerance, Amnesty International said today.

West Papua Action Auckland letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs
West Papua Action Auckland – May 3, 2017
The following letter has been emailed to the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gerry Brownlee today, World Press Freedom Day.

Indonesia: 'Gay porn' arrests threaten privacy
Human Rights Watch News Release – May 4, 2017
An Indonesian police raid targeting gay men in Surabaya, Indonesia, on April 30, 2017, threatens the rights of the country's already beleaguered lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, Human Rights Watch said today.

Indonesia's double dealing on media freedom
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Press release – May 2, 2017
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns Indonesia's double dealing, hosting the 24th annual celebration of World Press Freedom Day in Jakarta with UNESCO while continuing to harass independent journalists in West Papua.

Indonesia: Police fail to effectively investigate acid attack on senior anti-graft investigator
Asian Human Rights Commission Urgent Appeal – May 2, 2017
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the acid attack against senior investigator of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), Mr. Novel Baswedan. The attack caused Novel to suffer serious injuries in his eyes.

4 years after Indonesian takeover, he West Papuan people still continue their struggle for self-determination.
Australia West Papua Association (Sydney) Media Release – April 30, 2017
On the 1st May in 1963 Indonesia took over the administration of West Papua from United Nations Temporary Executive Authority (UNTEA) and 54 years later the West Papuan people still continue their struggle for self-determination.

Indonesia: Journalists under assault
Human Rights Watch Statement – April 26, 2017
The Indonesian government should adopt measures to ensure that state security forces who physically attack journalists are suspended and appropriately prosecuted, Human Rights Watch said today.

UK: Tobacco giant should respect human rights
Human Rights Watch Statement – April 25, 2017
British American Tobacco (BAT) should strengthen its processes for identifying and addressing human rights risks in its global supply chain, Human Rights Watch and Swedwatch said today in an open letter to shareholders.

Indonesia: Release gay men at risk of torture
Human Rights Watch Statement – April 9, 2017
Indonesian authorities should immediately and unconditionally release two men detained in Aceh province under a local ordinance that criminalizes homosexuality, Human Rights Watch 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: Anti-Ahok protests: why were Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah sidelined?
Indonesia at Melbourne – May 4, 2017
In late 2016 and early 2017, Indonesians were shocked by series of mass demonstrations against Jakarta's Chinese and Christian Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama over alleged blasphemy against Islam. The protests prompted many critical analyses about an apparent backslide in Indonesian pluralism, religious tolerance and democracy.

Indonesia: Trump's Indonesian allies in bed with ISIS-backed militia seeking to oust elected president
The Intercept – April 19, 2017
Associates of Donald Trump in Indonesia have joined army officers and a vigilante street movement linked to ISIS in a campaign that ultimately aims to oust the country's president.

Indonesia: A former first lady presses on for a tolerant, feminist Islam – New York Times. April 7, 2017
The transgender Muslim women gazed around the reception room with wonder. It was loaded with lavish tributes from foreign rulers: gold filigreed swords from Kuwait, elaborately painted Chinese urns and elegantly framed Quranic verses.

East Timor: Southeast Asia's newest nation faces an election that could make or break its future – Southeast Asia Globe – January 16, 2017
With much of the population living in poverty and oil wealth running dry, Timor-Leste's upcoming elections could be the public's most important decision since independence.

Indonesia: Bigger than Ahok: explaining the 2 December mass rally – Indonesia at Melbourne – December 7, 2016
On 2 December, a vast number of Muslims crowded into Jakarta's central park, Medan Merdeka, and surrounding suburbs for what organisers called "Defending Islam Action III" (Aksi Bela Islam III).

Indonesia: Old politics rises to challenge new politics in Jakarta – ISEAS Perspectives – November 22, 2016
A comment by Jakarta Governor Basuki Cahaya Purnama on the use of a verse from the Quran in campaigning against him has been seized upon by sections of political Islam to escalate their attacks against him.

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
Indonesians 'uncomfortable' with polarizing sentiments from Jakarta election: Survey
Jakarta Post – May 20, 2017
Two thirds of Indonesian people are fed up with divisive political rhetoric and rampant hate speeches that dominated debates in social media after the 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial runoff election, a survey has found.

'Much to be done': new president brings Timor-Leste hope for a better future
The Guardian (UK) – May 20, 2017
National pride is a serious business for Timor-Leste, a young country with a violent history. So on the eve of a presidential inauguration and the 15th anniversary of the nation's independence, the capital Dili is covered in flags. They adorn houses, fences, bikes and cars.

Activists are 'really scared' after two Indonesian men were sentenced to 85 lashes for having sex
Buzz Feed News – May 18, 2017
Activists are fearful about the potentially far-reaching implications of a brutal lashing punishment handed down to two men convicted of having sex in Indonesia's Aceh province.

Activists condemn sentence of caning for gay couple in Aceh
Jakarta Post – May 18, 2017
The Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) has condemned the decision of a sharia court in Banda Aceh to sentence a 24-year-old man from Langkat, North Sumatra, and a 20-year-old man from Bireun Regency, Aceh, to 85 lashes for engaging in a homosexual relationship.

Thousands support petition to revoke blasphemy article
Jakarta Post – May 18, 2017
The public has called on President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to immediately repeal Article 156a on religious blasphemy of the Criminal Code (KUHP), with thousands of people having signed an online petition urging the government to do so.

The Caiman and the Crocodile; Timor Leste and Cuba
Prensa Latina – May 17, 2017
The map of Timor Leste has the shape of a crocodile, while the map of Cuba has the shape of a Cayman. Both countries fought long and hard for their independence and continue to fight against neo colonial tendencies. They share the Catholic faith and a common Iberian legacy.

Two men to receive 85 lashes for gay sex in Aceh
Sydney Morning Herald – May 17, 2017
An Indonesian man gasped in horror after learning he and another man had been sentenced to 85 lashes for gay sex in the first conviction for homosexuality in Indonesia's conservative Aceh province.

Moral panic and the reinvention of LGBT
Indonesia at Melbourne – May 17, 2017
On 30 April, Indonesian police raided a "gay sex party" in Surabaya and arrested 14 men. Police forced the men to undergo HIV tests, explicitly violating their rights to privacy.

Army to build one million toilets
Jakarta Post – May 17, 2017
The Indonesian Army has pledged to build 1 million toilets for impoverished families in villages across the archipelago in an effort to help improve access to sanitation facilities in remote areas.

Firza Husein named suspect, charged under Porn Law
Jakarta Post – May 17, 2017
The Jakarta Police have named Firza Husein, the coordinator of the Solidaritas Sahabat Cendana Foundation (SSC) and treason suspect, a suspect in a separate pornography case.

Naked woman in steamy WhatsApp chat is Firza Husein, police confirm
Jakarta Post – May 16, 2017
The National Police have said that a face recognition analysis confirmed that the naked woman who appeared in sex chats allegedly involving Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab is Firza Husein.

Indonesia needs him and renewed faith in future
Asia Pacific Report – May 16, 2017
The recent sentencing of Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, the Christian Chinese-Indonesian Governor of Jakarta, to two years in jail for blasphemy will leave many people in the Asia-Pacific region confounded if not, sadly, further averse to Indonesia.

To prove 60 percent of Papuans are pro-NKRI: 'Hold a referendum'
Tabloid JUBI – May 16, 2017
Laurenzus Kadepa, Papua legislator has called for a referendum in Papua to prove the results of a Political Indicator survey that said 60 percent of Papuans (OAP) refused to separate from the Unitary Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).

Freeport dismisses 840 workers
Antara News – May 16, 2017
Gold and copper mining firm PT Freeport has reportedly laid off 840 employees for going on strike in Timika, Papua province, some time ago.

Facebook still running in Thailand despite threat over king's crop top photo
Reuters – May 16, 2017
Facebook is still active in Thailand despite a warning from authorities that it would be shut down if it failed to remove images of the country's king wearing a bright yellow crop top showing his tattoos.

Anti-Pancasila organizations cannot operate in Indonesia: Minister
Jakarta Post – May 15, 2017
Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto said on Monday that any organizations that did not recognized the nation's founding principles of Pancasila would not be allowed to operate in the country.

Indonesia deports Japanese after Papua visit
Radio New Zealand International – May 15, 2017
Indonesian immigration authorities have deported a group of six Japanese filmmakers from Papua for allegedly misusing their visas.

Indonesia rejects claims about ACP meeting
Radio New Zealand International – May 15, 2017
Indonesia has disputed reports that this month's African, Caribbean and Pacific meeting featured discussion about West Papua.

Ahok ruling raises tension
Jakarta Post – May 15, 2017
The highly divisive blasphemy conviction against non-active Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama has sparked tensions in some regions, with supporters of the Christian governor upping the ante against the Islamist group that has been calling for his incarceration.

Surakarta Police stop candlelight vigil for national unity
Jakarta Post – May 15, 2017
The Surakarta Police dispersed on Sunday evening a candlelight vigil held in front of the Surakarta City Hall, citing a lack of permit as the reason behind its move to stop the assembly.

Muslim scholar group backs court process for HTI ban
Jakarta Post – May 15, 2017
Joining other supporters of the dismissal of anti-Pancasila groups, the Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals Association (ICMI) said on Monday that it supported the government's plan to ban Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) through a court process.

Three years of Prayut's Dictatorship
Ugly Truth Thailand – May 14, 2017
The past three years of Prayut's dictatorship have caused immense damage to Thailand's democracy and to the fabric of society.

Indonesia lacks answers to rise of political Islam
Asia Nikkei Review – May 13, 2017
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has suffered two successive setbacks since his ally and former deputy Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, or Ahok as he is widely known, was accused of insulting Islam earlier this year.

Blasphemy verdict shows rise of Islamist politics in Indonesia
Radio New Zealand International – May 13, 2017
The high-pressure climax to a blasphemy trial in Jakarta involving the city's Christian Chinese governor has laid bare some of the forces at work in Indonesia, and the perilous nature of democracy in the world's largest Muslim nation.

Indonesia deports Japanese TV crew for alleged immigration violations
Kyodo News – May 12, 2017
A six-member television crew from Japan was deported from the easternmost Indonesian province of Papua on Thursday for immigration violations, a local immigration official said.

Wenda NZ visit exposes sensitivity over Papua
Radio New Zealand International – May 12, 2017
This week's visit to New Zealand by a West Papuan independence leader has thrown the polarisation around his cause into stark relief.

Freeport sacking strikers: union
Mining Journal – May 12, 2017
Freeport has posted signs reminding miners of its right to fire them after five days on strike, because they are unapproved absences, according to the Chemical, Energy and Mines Workers Union (CEMWU).

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.
Keep informed, subscribe to APSN's Indonesia/East Timor daily news updates. To subscribe free, just send a blank email to <apsnnewsupdates-subscribe@yahoogroups.com> and you will be automatically added to the list. View sample posting.

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