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Indonesia & East Timor Digest

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September 23, 2021

Jakarta Globe - September 23, 2021

Fana Suparman, Jakarta – Andi Merya Nur, the head of East Kolaka district in Southeast Sulawesi, was named a corruption suspect on Wednesday evening, less than 24 hours after she was arrested by the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK.

Andi, 37, is accused of misappropriating post-disaster reconstruction funds for her personal gains.

Coconuts Bali - September 23, 2021

Thousands of domestic travelers are visiting Bali as restrictions ease and COVID-19 cases decline in the province, with the island's beaches being the most frequented by tourists, an official said.

"If we're looking from the airport arrivals, right now it's at 4,300 travelers per day, [on average]" Bali Tourism Agency Chief Putu Astawa said.

Coconuts Jakarta - September 23, 2021

Chances are, few of us had heard of Koja Cliff Park in Tangerang, Banten before at least three people stripping naked for an outdoor nude photoshoot put the tourist attraction on the map this week.

Jakarta Globe - September 23, 2021

Fana Suparman, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, confirmed that they would examine new information that emerged during a trial case that allegedly linked Mu'min Ali Gunawan, one of Indonesia's richest men, with a tax bribery case that implicated his bank, Bank Pan Indonesia, or Bank Panin.

Insider - September 23, 2021

At dawn, they would call out the names of the dead. Hendro Utomo, 53, would listen as the loudspeakers from the local mosque announced who had died the day before.

"Five, eight dead every day, just in my neighborhood," said Utomo, who runs a food bank. "Every few minutes we hear the ambulances, the sirens, and someone is dying."

Coconuts Jakarta - September 23, 2021

COVID-19 clusters have been detected in over 1,000 Indonesian schools, a study by the Education Ministry showed, validating health experts' previous concerns about the government's insistence on resuming face-to-face learning in school.

Newsroom - September 23, 2021

[Newsroom Special Investigation: An Auckland property developer is involved in a company linked to carrying out deforestation in Indonesia, where virgin rainforest is being bulldozed to grow palm oil plantations. Watch Melanie Reid's video story above.]

Tempo - September 23, 2021

Budiarti Utami Putri, Jakarta – The civil coalition for ITE Law revision condemned the police criminal and civil report filed by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan against Haris Azhar and Fatia Maulidiyanti.

UCA News - September 23, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – People who refuse to be vaccinated against Covid-19 are sinners for endangering other people, according to an Indonesian archbishop who has been infected with the virus.

Coconuts Jakarta - September 23, 2021

Now that tourism has picked up pace during the pandemic with tourist attractions reopened across Indonesia following eased restrictions, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Uno is urging everyone to keep their masks on – including when taking selfies.

September 22, 2021

Eurasia Review - September 22, 2021

Binoy Kampmark – It seems utterly beyond debate but acknowledging legal rights to clean hair has assumed the makings of a slow march over the years. The 1956 Clean Air Act in Britain arose from the lethal effects of London's 1952 killer smog, which is said to have taken some 12,000 lives.

CNN Indonesia - September 22, 2021

Jakarta – Papua human rights activist and lawyer Veronica Koman says there are two versions of what happened during an attack by the West Papua National Liberation Army-Free Papua Organisation (TPNPB-OPM) on health workers in the Kiwirok district, Star Highlands, Papua. During the incident, a healthcare worker named Gabriella Maelani (22) was killed.

UCA News - September 22, 2021

Konradus Epa, Jakarta – Indonesian police named three prison officers as suspects on Sept. 20 in connection with a deadly fire at an overcrowded prison this month which killed dozens of inmates

The three, who were not named, are accused of negligence and could face up to five years in prison, according to Tubagus Ade Hidayat, the Jakarta police's general crimes director.

Jakarta Globe - September 22, 2021

Heru Andriyanto, Bayu Marhaenjati, Jakarta – Chief Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan lodged a defamation complaint against rights activists Haris Azhar and Fatia Maulidiyanti on Wednesday over a video alleging business motive behind current security operations in Papua with Luhut's involvement.

UCA News - September 22, 2021

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta – The families of 21 Catholic farmers detained by police for more than two months over a land dispute in Indonesia's East Nusa Tenggara province have sought help from the local diocese.

They met Ruteng Diocese officials on Sept 20 and asked for help in winning the release of their loved ones being held by West Manggarai district police on Flores island.

Coconuts Jakarta - September 22, 2021

A man in Aceh is set to serve more than 16 years in prison for raping his niece, after his recent acquittal by a religious court in the province was overturned by Indonesia's Supreme Court.

CNN Indonesia - September 22, 2021

Jakarta – Two human rights activists, Veronica Koman and Usman Hamid, have criticized a move by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan (LBP), as a public official, of reporting rights activist Haris Azhar and Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) Coordinator Fatia Maulidiyanti to the police over Pandjaitan's alleg

Jakarta Globe - September 22, 2021

Jakarta (Antara) – The head of East Kolaka District in the province of Southeast Sulawesi has been arrested for corruption allegation, police said on Wednesday.

Andi Merya Nur is now being interrogated by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) at the provincial police headquarters in Kendari.

New Mandala - September 22, 2021

Colum Graham – As with rice, Indonesia experiences high sugar prices. Domestic sugar prices can be three times the average international price. Near the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak last year, sugar prices rose a further 25 percent in some areas.

Coconuts Jakarta - September 22, 2021

Top Indonesian minister Luhut Pandjaitan is on course to go head-to-head in court with two renowned human rights activists, after they alleged the politician to have direct involvement in a lucrative mining business in Papua.

September 21, 2021

Jakarta Globe - September 21, 2021

Herman, Jakarta – The government has seized $7.7 million worth of assets belonging to former banker Kaharudin Ongko as part of a massive debt collection program targeting major debtors who received state bailout during the 1998 financial crisis, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Jakarta Post - September 21, 2021

Agencies, Jakarta – A United Nations expert has urged Indonesia to provide proper medical care to a Papuan independence activist to "keep him from dying in prison", after reports emerged that his health had deteriorated, Reuters reported.

Victor Yeimo, 39, who is the international spokesman for the West Papua National Committee, was arrested in Jayapura in May.

CNN Indonesia - September 21, 2021

Jakarta – Papua Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) Director Emmanuel Gobay says that West Papua National Committee (KNPB) international spokesperson Victor Yeimo is in a critical condition. The suspect in the 2019 riots in Jayapura is suffering from multi-drug resistance tuberculosis (TBC MDR), allegedly as a result of not receiving prompt treatment.

Tempo - September 21, 2021

M Rosseno Aji, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) confirmed the financial rights of the 57 dismissed employees would not be stripped. Acting KPK spokesman Ali Fikri said, however, they would not receive severance pay and pension funds.

"KPK provides an allowance as a substitute for pension fund benefits," said Ali on Tuesday, September 21.

Jakarta Post - September 21, 2021

Dio Suhenda, Jakarta – Indonesia International Islamic University (UIII) in Depok, West Java, is finally ready to open its doors to students starting next week, the institution's administrators have said.

Coconuts Jakarta - September 21, 2021

Restaurants and cafes in Java and Bali are now allowed to operate until midnight, as the government eased restrictions with the latest update of the Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (PPKM).

Australian Associated Press - September 21, 2021

Separatist rebels in Indonesia's Papua province have killed a government soldier during a gunfight, the military says.

The fighting broke out after insurgents opened fire on soldiers guarding Kiwi airport in Kiwirok district, provincial military spokesman Colonel Reza Nur Patria said on Tuesday.

September 20, 2021

Coconuts Jakarta - September 20, 2021

Gone are the days of weekly extensions of the Enforcement of Restrictions on Public Activities (PPKM) in Java and Bali, as the government's latest update on the pseudo-lockdown policy will see it run from today until at least Oct. 4, and with plans for further lifting of restrictions.

Antara News - September 20, 2021

Evarianus Supar, Uyu Liman, Timika – A total of 1,500 military and police personnel will be deployed to secure the XX Papua National Sports Week (PON) in Mimika District, a senior official has said.

Straits Times - September 20, 2021

Jakarta (Reuters) – Even as Indonesia wins cautious praise from some green groups for ambitious plans to cut carbon emissions, the world's biggest exporter of thermal coal shows no sign of weaning itself off the polluting fuel any time soon.

OHCHR News Release - September 20, 2021

Geneva – Indonesia must provide West Papuan human rights defender Victor Yeimo with proper medical care to keep him from dying in prison, a UN human rights expert said today.

Jakarta Globe - September 20, 2021

Jakarta – Another shipment of the US-donated Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine recently landed in Indonesia, this time amounting to 1,140,750 doses in finished form.

The Guardian - September 20, 2021

Christopher Knaus – Human rights groups say revelations that Australia sat on its hands after learning of Indonesian military atrocities against West Papuan demonstrators are "deeply disturbing" and should prompt an independent investigation.

UCA News - September 20, 2021

Katharina R. Lestari, Jakarta – Doctors in Indonesia's easternmost province of Papua have demanded protection following an attack by gunmen on a clinic in which a nurse was killed and another seriously wounded.

Jakarta Globe - September 20, 2021

Lenny Tristia Tambun, Jakarta – The Indonesian government claimed on Monday the Covid-19 outbreak has been relatively under control as shown by the lowest ever transmission rate of the disease and a steady decline in newly cases and deaths during the past few weeks.

Kompas.com - September 20, 2021

Tatang Guritno, Jakarta – Papuan civilians will continue to fall victim if the government continues to use a security approach to resolve the problems in the land of the Cenderawasih as Papua is known.

Tempo - September 20, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said the global communities were astonished by Indonesia's ability to curb the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 and get through the pandemic crisis.

Jakarta Globe - September 20, 2021

Antara & Fana F Suparman, Jakarta – The Criminal Investigation Agency, or Bareskrim, confirmed over the weekend that jailed policeman Napoleon Bonaparte had assaulted Muhammad "Kace" Kosman – a fellow inmate arrested for blasphemous remarks against Islam – at the Bareskrim detention facility.

Coconuts Bali - September 20, 2021

An Indonesian woman authorities described as an influencer was arrested in Denpasar for alleged "pornographic action," which police said involved live-streaming obscene acts on social media for money.

Denpasar Police spokesman I Ketut Sukadi said the suspect, identified as 22-year-old RR, has been going live on a social media app called Mango Live for the past nine months.

Kompas.com - September 20, 2021

Achmad Nasrudin Yahya, Jakarta – The Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) and its 16 regional offices have strongly condemned a firebomb terror attack on the Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) office in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on Saturday September 18.

Jakarta Post - September 20, 2021

Jakarta (Agencies) – Indonesia on Monday reported 1,932 new daily coronavirus infections, the lowest since August 2020, data from country's COVID-19 task force showed, with deaths at 166.

September 19, 2021

Jakarta Globe - September 19, 2021

Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – Indonesia recorded 2,234 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the lowest daily count since last August, according to Health Ministry data.

The last time the country reported fewer daily numbers than that of Sunday was on August 24 of last year, when 1,877 Covid-19 cases were recorded in the 24-hour period.

Jakarta Globe - September 19, 2021

Jakarta – Ali Ahmad, also known as Ali Kalora, the notorious leader of an Islamist terror group East Indonesia Mujahidin, or MIT, has died in a shootout with the police's anti-terror squad in Parigi Moutong district, Central Sulawesi on Saturday, a top security official confirmed.

The Guardian - September 19, 2021

Christopher Knaus – In the pre-dawn light, beneath a water tower on the West Papuan island of Biak, Yudha Korwa lay bleeding in the dirt.

Four days earlier, the young high school student, full of hope in post-Suharto, Reformasi Indonesia, had joined hundreds of other independence activists to fly the Morning Star, the banned West Papuan flag, near Biak's harbour.

Kompas.com - September 19, 2021

Irfan Kamil, Jakarta – Parameter Politic Indonesia Executive Director Adi Prayitno says that summoning poultry farmer Suroto to the Palace to meet with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is a democratic paradox.

Tempo - September 19, 2021

Antara, Jakarta – As many as 78,540,519 Indonesian citizens have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose as of 12 p.m. local time on Saturday (September 18, 2021), the COVID-19 Handling Task Force has reported.

An additional 1,123,031 people received the first dose of vaccination on Saturday, it said.

Straits Times - September 19, 2021

Kent Nash, Jakarta – With daily Covid-19 cases still on the uptick, governments are doubling down on vaccination efforts in a bid to reopen borders, stimulate their economies, and reinstate some sense of normalcy.

Sydney Morning Herald - September 19, 2021

Mohammad Taufan, Palu – Indonesia's most wanted militant, who had ties to the Islamic State group, has been killed in a jungle shootout with security forces.

Ali Kalora was one of two militants killed in the raid, said Central Sulawesi's regional military chief Geneneral Farid Makruf. He identified the other suspected extremist as Jaka Ramadan.

Bloomberg News - September 19, 2021

Eko Listiyorini – Indonesia's moratorium on new oil palm plantation permits is set to expire this week as the industry awaits clarity on whether the government will extend the policy.

Kompas.com - September 19, 2021

Penulis Irfan Kamil, Jakarta – As many as 38 academics from Australia sent a letter to President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Thursday September 16 requesting that he give amnesty to jailed university lecturer Saiful Mahdi.