goodmorningpapua.com – The chairman of the Alliance of Independent Journalists or AJI Jayapura, Lucky Ireeuw announced the launch of the Tanah Papua Press Legal Aid Association in Jayapura City, Friday (10/12/2021).
The institution was established to provide legal assistance for every journalist in the Land of Papua who is a victim of violence. Ireeuw stated that the formation of the Tanah Papua Press Legal Aid Association (PBH) was based on the many cases of violence experienced by journalists who work and cover in Papua. Ireeuw stated that PBH Pers Tanah Papua would provide free assistance to journalists who were victims of violence.
“[The legal aid] [will be provided] free of charge. So, if there are journalists experiencing violence, please report them, and we will advocate them,” said Irreuw in Jayapura, Friday.
Ireeuw stated that until now cases of violence against journalists still hampers the freedom of the press in Papua. Based on AJI Indonesia data, in the period 2000-2021, there were 114 cases of violence experienced by journalists in Papua. “The case of violence against the press is a big problem in the world of journalists in Indonesia, including in Papua,” he said.
The number of cases of violence against journalists in Papua has made the results of the Press Independence Index assessment by the Press Council for the last 4 years place Papua as the region with the worst press freedom conditions in Indonesia. The assessment classifies Papua as a region with a press freedom category of “somewhat free” for three consecutive years, and it was only in the last assessment that Papua received a “fairly free” rating.
Ireeuw explained that journalists in Papua experienced various types of violence, including psychological violence in the form of threats or intimidation. Journalists in Papua are also often subject to bans, destruction of work equipment and documentation of the results of their coverage, digital attacks on both journalists and the media, as well as blocking internet access.
Ireeuw added, PBH Press Tanah Papua is here to provide benefits for all print and electronic journalists in Papua. He believes that the Tanah Papua Press PBH will also be useful for parties who often come into contact with journalists, including government officials, law enforcement officers, security forces, and civilians in Papua.
“The ultimate goal of the presence of this institution is the realization of justice for journalists, and freedom of the press in Papua,” he said.
A head of the Tanah Papua PBH Press, Simon Pattiradjawane, said journalists should not be afraid to report when they experience various forms of violence. He stated that PBH Pers Tanah Papua will provide legal assistance to all journalists who experience violence while carrying out their profession.
“All press workers have the right to protection, so they shouldn’t be afraid to report. Moreover, we do not charge any fees,” said Simon.