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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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June 18, 2020

Tempo - June 18, 2020

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – The Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) on Wednesday demanded the Law and Human Rights Ministry annul the remission of graft inmate Muhammad Nazaruddin as the anti-graft watchdog argues Nazaruddin had never obtained the status as a justice collaborator (JC).

Jakarta Post - June 18, 2020

Jakarta – West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil has urged Jakarta residents to refrain from visiting Puncak, a tourist area in Ciawi in Bogor regency, West Java, following reports that the area was packed with tourists over the weekend.

Local officials previously reported that the road in Puncak was full of vehicles coming from Jakarta on Saturday and Sunday.

Jakarta Globe - June 18, 2020

Tara Marchelin, Jakarta – Indonesian children are an easy target market for the tobacco industry, said Lenny Rosalin, the deputy head for child growth and development affairs at the Women Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry.

According to data from the Health Ministry, 0.7 percent of 79.5 million children in Indonesia are active smokers.

Jakarta Post - June 18, 2020

Sausan Atika, Jakarta – Working daily in a place deemed to pose a high risk of COVID-19 contagion, some traditional wet market vendors have taken precautions related to the viral outbreak, as they worry about their health as much as they do their financial struggles.

Jakarta Post - June 18, 2020

Marguerite Afra Sapiie, Jakarta – The Pagedangan Police in Tangerang regency, Banten, named eight people suspects on Wednesday for their alleged involvement in the rape of a now-deceased 16-year-old girl in April.

"The police managed to arrest six of the eight suspects. We are still pursuing the other two," Pagedangan Police chief Adj. Comr. Efri said on Wednesday.

Jakarta Post - June 18, 2020

Dian Septiari – As Indonesia now leads the tally of COVID-19 cases and fatalities in Southeast Asia, it appears to be showing an interest in following steps taken by its neighboring countries to ease cross-border travel restrictions.

Jakarta Post - June 18, 2020

Alya Nurbaiti, Jakarta – Indonesia has recorded its biggest surge of COVID-19 cases with 1,331 new confirmed cases on Thursday, a day after the country officially surpassed Singapore with the highest number of infections in the Southeast Asia region.

Jakarta Post - June 18, 2020

Norman Harsono, Jakarta – State-owned electricity company PLN says it has yet to receive compensation worth billions of dollars from the government for offering power to customers below market prices.

The Guardian - June 18, 2020

Febriana Firdaus – Seven Papuan activists have been found guilty of treason and sentenced to up to 11 months in prison for their involvement in anti-racism rallies in West Papua last year, a verdict that has been condemned by human rights groups.

Jakarta Post - June 18, 2020

Apriza Pinandita, Jakarta – Four student activists from the Jayapura University of Science and Technology (USTJ) in Papua were detained by the police for questioning on Monday while holding an open forum in the run-up to the verdicts in the trials of seven Papuans accused of treason.

Antara News - June 18, 2020

Hendrina DK, Rahmad Nasution, Jayapura, Papua – Some 816 police and military personnel are on standby in areas around Jayapura, Papua, as a precautionary measure against likely local protests over Balikpapan District Court's guilty verdicts against seven Papuan youths accused of treason.

Tempo - June 18, 2020

Egi Adyatama, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, visited the Indonesia-Timor Leste cross-country border post (PLBN) in Motaain, East Nusa Tenggara, Thursday, June 18. Mahfud came with Home Affairs Minister Tito Karnavian.

Kompas.com - June 18, 2020

Ihsanuddin, Jakarta – Special Presidential Staff for Legal Affairs, Dini Purwono insists that President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo commitment to seeking justice over the 2017 acid attack against senior Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) investigator Novel Baswedan has not changed.

Jakarta Post - June 18, 2020

Norman Harsono, Jakarta – PT North Sumatra Hydro Energy (NSHE) might delay the completion of the Rp 22 trillion (US$1.5 billion) Batang Toru hydropower plant (PLTA) in North Sumatra because of manpower issues.

The Guardian - June 18, 2020

Rebecca Ratcliffe – The Indonesian government is deploying artificial rains ahead of the dry season's peak as the country attempts to prevent a repeat of the devastating fires that ravaged millions of acres of forests and land last year.

Tempo - June 18, 2020

Andita Rahma, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) highlighted today, June 18, the potential conflict of interest in the government's pre-employment card program.

This was discovered since the partnership with eight digital platforms did not base on the mechanism for the procurement of the government's goods and products.

The Interpreter - June 18, 2020

Jim Nolan – The coronavirus pandemic has provided just the latest cover for a variety of authoritarian moves criminalising journalism across Southeast Asia.

Jakarta Globe - June 18, 2020

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Entering its sixth year, the largest restoration and conservation program on peatlands in Sumatra, the Restorasi Ekosistem Riau (RER), has again recorded progress in efforts to conserve habitats for protected flora and fauna.

Jakarta Post - June 18, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – Jaringan Gusdurian, an NGO endorsing the ideas and values of late President Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid, has spoken out against the recent arrest of a North Maluku resident for having posted a Gus Dur quote on social media that local police claim cast an unflattering light on the force.

Jakarta Post - June 18, 2020

Made Anthony Iswara and Dyaning Pangestika, Jakarta – Tody Yusuf, 35, said he became worried upon hearing that his child's kindergarten in East Lampung may soon reopen.

The regency is among the few regions that was labeled a "green zone" by the national COVID-19 task force as of June 7, meaning that it has the lowest risk of infection.

Jakarta Post - June 18, 2020

Adrian Wail Akhlas, Jakarta – Indonesia's debt will swell significantly next year as the government increases spending to help the country recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, an official has said.

Jakarta Post - June 18, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – The government has decided not to open tourist destinations in Bali yet as the risk of COVID-19 transmission lingers.

Jakarta Post - June 18, 2020

Jakarta – A video showing a woman being harassed by men after she was allegedly caught stealing at Ulee Gle market in Bandar Dua district, Pidie Jaya regency, Aceh, went viral on Wednesday.

Tempo - June 18, 2020

Jakarta – The government must not continue its mistaken policies in Papua. Stop the violence and start the dialogue.

Jakarta Post - June 18, 2020

Apriza Pinandita, Jakarta – Indonesia has secured a seat on the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for the 2021 to 2023 term.

The country gained 186 out of 190 votes as a representative from the Asia-Pacific region during a closed-door voting session at the UN headquarters in New York, United States, on Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry stated.

Kompas.com - June 18, 2020

Achmad Nasrudin Yahya, Jakarta – The panel of judges at the Balikpapan District Court in East Kalimantan found seven Papuan political prisoners guilty of treason during the sentence hearing which took place on Wednesday June 17.

Jakarta Post - June 18, 2020

Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – A public health expert and a community that monitors pandemic effects in Indonesia have warned the public to avoid rushing to buy dexamethasone, an inexpensive and widely used corticosteroid medication, which has been hailed as a "major breakthrough" in COVID-19 treatment.

CNN Indonesia - June 18, 2020

Jakarta – The Papuan Coalition for Upholding the Law and Human Rights is urging the police to stop criminalising the Papuan people through the makar (treason, subversion, rebellion) articles if they do not want the term political prisoner (tapol) to be used anymore in Indonesia.

Jakarta Globe - June 18, 2020

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesia registered its highest single-day rise of coronavirus cases, 1,331 on Thursday, to take the country's total to 42,762. It beat the previous daily record of 1,241 cases on June 6.

The hike was in line with the country's increasing testing capacity, which for the first time surpassed the government's daily target of 20,000.

Jakarta Post - June 18, 2020

Jakarta – The Palembang administration officially lifted the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in Palembang, South Sumatra on Wednesday.

The administration decided not to extend the policy despite a high number of COVID-19 cases in Palembang and South Sumatra.

Jakarta Post - June 18, 2020

Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman, Jakarta – The government plans to buy products and services from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for official state procurement, potentially spending over Rp 700 trillion (US$49.7 billion) as part of its efforts to help the sector, a minister says.

Jakarta Post - June 18, 2020

Ghina Ghaliya and Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – Having served as deputy to Joko "Jokowi" Widodo when the latter was mayor of Surakarta, and having later taken over when his boss relocated to Jakarta in 2012 to run for governor, many would expect Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician FX Hadi Rudyatmo, the city's current mayor, to continue to be on good terms

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.