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INDONESIA: Military threatens news site after generals coup plot story


Investigative journalist Allan Nairn featured on the Tirto website threatened by the Indonesian military. Image: Asia Pacific Report

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Item: 9863

JAKARTA (Asia Pacific Report/The Jakarta Post/Pacific Media Watch): Indonesia’s military says it is reporting an online news site to the police after it wrote about an Intercept story alleging current and retired generals plotted to overthrow President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, reports The Jakarta Post.

The Intercept, co-founded by Glenn Greenwald, a journalist known for his stories about the US National Security Agency’s mass surveillance, published the story earlier this week.

Citing intelligence documents, unnamed generals and protest leaders, it alleges that huge protests in Jakarta against the capital’s minority Christian governor Ba­suki “Ahok” Tja­haja Pur­nama — defeated in this week’s election —  were a front for a movement to unseat Jokowi.

READ MORE: Trump’s Indonesian allies in bed with ISIS-backed militia seeking to oust elected president

The military’s statement yesterday said an account of The Intercept story, written by investigative journalist Allan Nairn and published by the Indonesian site Tirto, was either “not true” or a “hoax”.

It said it was reporting Tirto so it could be “investigated and proceeded against in line with existing laws”.

“Nairn reveals Indonesians involved in the coup attempt include a corporate lawyer working for the mining company Freeport-McMoRan [which owns the controversial Freeport mine in West Papua], which is controlled by Donald Trump adviser Carl Icahn.

Video has even emerged showing the lawyer at a ceremony where men are swearing allegiance to ISIS. According to Allan Nairn, two of the other most prominent supporters of the coup are close associates of Donald Trump: Fadli Zon, the vice-speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives, and Hary Tanoe, Trump’s primary Indonesian business partner, who’s building two Trump resorts, one in Bali and one outside Jakarta.

“Nairn’s article is making waves in Indonesia. The Indonesian military is threatening legal action against the news portal tirto.id, after it published a partial translation of the article and ran a profile about Allan Nairn.

“In response, Nairn tweeted a message to the Indonesian military, saying, quote, ‘Dear TNI: If you want to threaten brave Indonesian reporters and publishers, please threaten me too,’ unquote.”

In the interview with Democracy Now!, Nairn said:

“Indonesia is in the midst of a political crisis, in that there is an attempt to stage what people on both sides of the conflict call the coup. And this is a de facto, or even direct, coup against the elected president, the elected government of Indonesia, which is headed by President Widodo — Jokowi.

“Jokowi was the first person from outside the political elite who ever was elected president. He’s—on certain issues, in certain respects, he’s a bit of a reformist.

“He got elected, in an important part because he speaks the language of the poor, and people relate to him. He has been pushing social programs on health and education.

“But, especially in recent months, his government has been fighting for survival. Those backing this coup project include the top generals in the country, who are seeking to escape any whisper of accountability for their past mass murders — mass murders that have been supported by the US — and for their ongoing atrocities in West Papua, also the friends and business partners and political associates of Donald Trump.

“The local Trump people in Indonesia, including his top political backer, the politician Fadli Zon, including his local business partner, Hary Tanoe, and others, have been funding and backing this coup movement.”The instrument they have been using is a—what purports to be a radical Islamist street movement, which has been staging massive demonstrations on the streets of Jakarta, demonstrations drawing out hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of people.

“And their hook is what they claimed to be a religious issue, where they are attacking and demanding the death by hanging of the incumbent governor of Jakarta, who happens to be an ethnic Chinese Christian who is currently standing trial for insulting religion, for insulting Islam.

“And he could actually be sent to prison.”

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Pacific Media Watch

PMC's media monitoring service

Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators.
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