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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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June 18, 2020

Jakarta Post - June 18, 2020

Riska Rahman, Jakarta – Major lender Bank Mandiri expects Indonesia's economy to contract in the second and third quarter of this year following restrictions imposed on social and economic activities since April to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Jakarta Post - June 18, 2020

Nina Loasana, Jakarta – Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Mahendra Siregar says the country has become more independent in producing medical gear and other health equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE), thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said this was achieved within about three months of the novel coronavirus outbreak hitting the country.

Jakarta Post - June 18, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – A panel of judges at the Jakarta Corruption Court has sentenced Risyanto Suanda, the former president director of state-owned Indonesia Fisheries Company (Perum Perindo), to four years and six months in prison for his involvement in a bribery case related to a fish import permit.

Sydney Morning Herald - June 18, 2020

Veronica Koman and Ronny Kareni – Over the past few months, a terrible injustice has been playing out in Indonesia's legal system: 56 black political prisoners put on trial for treason over last year's anti-racism protests in West Papua. For seven of those activists, Indonesian prosecutors had sought jail terms ranging from five to 17 years.

June 17, 2020

Jakarta Post - June 17, 2020

Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is scheduled to restart his working visits to regions across the country on Thursday as the government transitions into the so-called "new normal" period.

Presidential Secretariat head Heru Budi Hartono confirmed the first visit. "[Jokowi] plans to visit Central Java [on Thursday]," he said on Wednesday as quoted by kompas.com.

CNN Indonesia - June 17, 2020

Jakarta – The Civil Society Coalition for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders says that thousands of human rights (HAM) activists advocating Papuan issues have been victims of violence under the administration of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. There have been at least 72 cases of legal violations and violence against them.

Jakarta Post - June 17, 2020

Jakarta – The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down an appeal filed by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) against a not-guilty verdict given to the former president director of state-run electricity company PLN, Sofyan Basir.

Channel News Asia - June 17, 2020

Nivell Rayda, Jakarta – Indonesia's COVID-19 tally rose to 41,431 on Wednesday (Jun 17), a senior health official said, making it the worst-hit country in Southeast Asia.

Dr Achmad Yurianto, the Ministry of Health's director-general for infectious disease, told a press briefing that Indonesia recorded 1,031 new infections, while death toll went up by 45.

Tempo - June 17, 2020

Jakarta – President Joko Widodo may well give the excuse that the nomination of his son and son-in-law in elections for regional heads this December does not break any rules.

Jakarta Post - June 17, 2020

Budi Sutrisno, Jakarta – A court in East Kalimantan found seven Papuans guilty of treason in separate trials on Wednesday for their involvement in antiracism protests in Jayapura, Papua, in 2019, despite calls from human rights defenders for authorities to drop all charges against them.

Inside Indonesia - June 17, 2020

Sophie Chao – The brutal murder of 46-year-old Minneapolis resident George Floyd on 25 May 2020 has triggered an unprecedented spate of protests against racism and police violence across the United States.

Jakarta Globe - June 17, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Fana Suparman, Jakarta – The Supreme Court has turned down an appeal by the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, and reinstated the acquittal of former state electricity company PLN president director Sofyan Basir over a graft scandal, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

SBS News - June 17, 2020

Virginia Langeberg – An Indonesian court is set to deliver its verdict in a high-profile trial of seven West Papuan men charged with treason over anti-racism rallies in Indonesia last year.

Indonesian prosecutors are seeking sentences of between five to 17 years in prison, accusing the men of orchestrating last year's demonstrations which swept across the country.

Tempo - June 17, 2020

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – Vocal human rights activist on Papua issues, Veronica Koman, remains adamant that the Balikpapan High Court should completely acquit the defendant of a treason case, Irwanus Uropmabin, of all charges.

Jakarta Post - June 17, 2020

Ardila Syakriah, Jakarta – As Indonesia transitions into the "new normal", the country continues to report high numbers of new COVID-19 cases, with three new daily records reported since the beginning of June as well as the highest daily death toll of 64 fatalities on Monday.

Jakarta Post - June 17, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – A recent study by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) shows that poor management, including lack of coordination and ineffective financial management, has hampered Indonesia's research and development (R&D) efforts.

Tempo - June 17, 2020

Ririe Ranggasari, Jakarta – Amnesty International Indonesia held an online oration with the theme #PapuanLivesMatter on Wednesday, June 17. The event was held to demand justice for seven Papuans, who are in detainment and facing heavy charges for accusations of treason. The orators urged President Joko Widodo or Jokowi to free the political prisoners without conditions.

Jakarta Post - June 17, 2020

Jakarta – Prosecutors at the West Jakarta District Court are seeking between seven and 16 years' imprisonment for three individuals over their alleged involvement in the stabbing of then-coordinating political, legal and security affairs Minister Wiranto in Banten province last October.

Jakarta Post - June 17, 2020

Jakarta – Southeast Sulawesi Governor Ali Mazi has allowed some 500 Chinese workers to work on nickel smelter projects in the province's Konawe regency after previously blocking their entry.

Jakarta Post - June 17, 2020

Mardika Parama, Jakarta – Indonesia's domestic car sales plunged 95.7 percent year-on-year (yoy) in May, as the downward trend continues amid the government's large scale social restrictions (PSBB) to contain COVID-19, carmaker association data show.

Jakarta Post - June 17, 2020

Alya Nurbaiti, Jakarta – Indonesia has recorded a total of 41,431 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Thursday, making it the country with the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia.

With 1,031 new confirmed cases on Thursday, the country has surpassed Singapore, which recorded 41,216 confirmed cases, according to Singapore's Ministry of Health.

CNN Indonesia - June 17, 2020

Jakarta – The Civil Society Coalition for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders is calling for the release of seven Papuan defendants who are being tried on treason charges at the Balikpapan District Court in East Kalimantan.

Associated Press - June 17, 2020

Jakarta – An Indonesian court on Wednesday sentenced seven Papuan pro-independence activists to nearly yearlong jail terms on treason charges for organizing anti-racism protests last year, despite calls from rights groups and politicians to drop the charges and release them.

Jakarta Post - June 17, 2020

Dyaning Pangestika, Jakarta – The largest textile market in Southeast Asia, Tanah Abang Market in Central Jakarta, fully reopened on Monday after being closed for around three months with COVID-19 mobility restrictions in place in the capital city.

Asia Times - June 17, 2020

John McBeth, Jakarta – Amid the fallout from the George Floyd murder re-awakening awareness of racial discrimination around the globe, an Indonesian court has sentenced seven Papuans to surprisingly light jail terms on treason charges for allegedly fomenting anti-racist riots which rocked Papua last year.

Jakarta Post - June 17, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – The government has again increased its planned spending on Indonesia's battle against the COVID-19 pandemic amid plunging tax revenue and a widening state budget deficit.

TAPOL News Release - June 17, 2020

London – TAPOL regrets the sentencing of seven West Papuan political prisoners today in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan province. The Seven were arrested in early September 2019 and accused of being the masterminds behind the 'West Papua Uprising', mass anti-racism protests in August and September last year.

Jakarta Post - June 17, 2020

Jakarta – Former Democratic Party treasurer and graft convict M. Nazaruddin was released on parole from Sukamiskin Penitentiary in Bandung, West Java, on Sunday.

"The parole is effective from June 14 until Aug. 13," said Rika Aprianti, a spokesperson for the Law and Human Rights Ministry's Corrections Directorate General, as quoted by kompas.com.

Antara News - June 17, 2020

Rahmad Nasution, Jakarta – Indonesia's National Police spokesman, Inspector General Argo Yuwono, dismissed a claim that seven Papuan youths, being tried in connection with a treason case at the Balikpapan District Court in East Kalimantan Province, are political prisoners.

Jakarta Post - June 17, 2020

Apriza Pinandita, Jakarta – Indonesian and Malaysian defense ministers have expressed their commitment to deepening defense ties between the two countries, highlighting the importance of expanding cooperation based on the shared interests of both parties during a virtual meeting on Monday.

Jakarta Post - June 17, 2020

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – The Trade Ministry has lifted an export ban on personal protective equipment (PPE) amid oversupply in national production as it seeks to restore exports hard hit by the COVID-19 economic crisis.

Jakarta Post - June 17, 2020

Yunindita Prasidya, Jakarta – Remote work has been a growing trend with the rise of the gig economy, but the COVID-19 pandemic has brought it into the mainstream faster than many people initially expected.

Indonesia at Melbourne - June 17, 2020

Nadirsyah Hosen, Jeremy J Kingsley and Tim Lindsey – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo says he wants to boost economic growth and generate job opportunities. That is why his massive 1028-page so-called "omnibus bill" on job creation (the RUU Cipta Kerja) is now before the DPR, the Indonesian national legislature.

Jakarta Globe - June 17, 2020

Tara Marchelin, Jakarta – The Election Supervisory Agency, or Bawaslu, said hundreds of civil servants have failed to stay neutral during the run-up to the 2020 regional elections by getting involved in campaigning for their preferred candidates.

Asian today - June 17, 2020

By Umair Jamal

Is the conflict in West Papua worsening?

ABC News - June 17, 2020

An Indonesian court has found three Papuan men guilty of treason in a high-profile trial closely watched as an indicator of political freedoms in the world's third-largest democracy.

Jakarta Post - June 17, 2020

Apriza Pinandita, Jakarta – Australia is set to disburse aid totaling AU$6.2 million (US$4.2 million) to the World Health Organization (WHO) to support Indonesia's COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

Jakarta Post - June 17, 2020

Nina A. Loasana, Jakarta – Comedian Bintang Emon has refuted drug abuse accusations leveled against him as experts raised concerns over Indonesia's democracy and freedom of expression following his viral video that poked fun at the controversial light sentence handed down against two policemen behind the acid attack on graft buster Novel Baswedan.

West Papua Action Aotearoa Media Release - June 17, 2020

The West Papua Action Aotearoa network and 109 signatories from churches, academia, community leadership and Pacific groups have sent an urgent open letter to Jacinda Ardern and Winston Peters today calling for the release of the Balikpapan 7 who are a group of West Papuan political prisoners.

Al Jazeera - June 17, 2020

An Indonesian court issued on Wednesday guilty verdicts against the first three West Papuan defendants accused of treason, in a case that has drawn concern about deteriorating political freedoms in the world's third-largest democracy.

Jakarta Post - June 17, 2020

Eisya A. Eloskari, Jakarta – Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab announced on Tuesday that it would lay off 360 employees, just under 5 percent of its total employees in the region, as the company felt the economic pressures of COVID-19.

Tabloid JUBI - June 17, 2020

Arjuna Pademme, Makassar – Academic from the Cenderawasih University of Jayapura, Elvira Rumkabu, stated the stigmatised Free Papua to indigenous Papuans had killed other issues in Papua, humanitarian issue, for example.

The statement revealed in an online discussion "Racism vs Treason" held by Jubi on Saturday (13/06/2020).

Jakarta Post - June 17, 2020

Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – Indonesia saw a spike in crime in the first two weeks of June as large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) were eased, the National Police reported on Tuesday.

June 16, 2020

Jakarta Post - June 16, 2020

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have shifted to producing personal protective equipment (PPE), which remain in high demand, to survive the economic impacts of the COVID-19 health crisis.

Jakarta Post - June 16, 2020

Apriza Pinandita and Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – The House of Representative's Commission I overseeing foreign affairs started on Tuesday fit and proper tests for Indonesian ambassadorial candidates to fill numerous diplomatic posts across the globe.

Jakarta Post - June 16, 2020

Budi Sutrisno, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has called on law enforcement officers to work hard to anticipate and act decisively against his functionaries found to be taking advantage of the current pandemic to enrich themselves.

Coconuts Jakarta - June 16, 2020

An official from the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment says airlines operating in Indonesia are permitted to raise their ticket prices and make use of the upper airfare limit, citing the passenger limit currently imposed amid the COVID-19 pandemic as a valid reason for doing so.

Jakarta Post - June 16, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas and Eisya A. Eloksari, Jakarta – The government will press ahead with collecting digital tax despite a recent announcement by the United States Trade Representatives (USTR) to investigate such a policy, which the US said was aimed squarely at its technology giants.

Jakarta Post - June 16, 2020

Alya Nurbaiti, Jakarta – A ventilator developed by the University Indonesia (UI) has passed clinical trials and is ready for distribution to hospitals, the university announced on Tuesday.