Indonesia

Indonesia woman spared jail for taking dog into a mosque

A video of Suzethe Margaret entering a mosque wearing shoes before letting her dog run around went viral in July.

It sparked anger in the Muslim-majority country where many consider dogs to be impure.

A panel of judges in Bogor, a town near Jakarta, found her guilty of blasphemy on Wednesday but said she could not be held responsible for her actions.

Margaret has paranoid schizophrenia, according to psychiatric examinations in 2013.

Prosecutors had demanded she be sentenced to eight months of imprisonment.

Indonesia appoints new roving ambassador in the Pacific

The Wellington-based diplomat said his new role was aimed at increasing Indonesia's presence in the Pacific.

This is to be done through strengthening of economic, political, and people-to-people links with countries and territories in the region.

Tantowi Yahya was a driving force behind the launch last year of Jakarta's 'Pacific Elevation' strategy for greater connectivity with Pacific Islands countries.

According to Kumpuran News, the ambassadorial appointment by Indonesia's foreign ministry comes as it develops its Indo-Pacific Outlook.

Indonesia lifts tsunami alert after powerful quake causes panic

     

The quake had a magnitude of 7.1 and its epicentre in the sea was 139 km (86 miles) northwest of the city of Ternate at a depth of 45 km, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. More than 20 aftershocks occurred.

Indonesia's geophysics agency lifted the tsunami warning after two hours because it detected only small waves in Ternate, Jailolo and Bitung.

Miftahudin, an official in Jailolo in the Halmahera area of the Moluccas, said residents had fled to the hills.

Over 11,500 flee West Papua town after clashes

It comes as violence continues to rock Papua and West Papua provinces, where dozens have died during clashes.

An official with the country's social ministry said the air force has flown around 7,500 people out of Wamena after unrest there in the past month.

Reuters reports Harry Hikmat saying another group of nearly 4,200 residents left on commercial flights.

A police spokesperson said the situation in Wamena is now stable, with shops and markets again open.

     

Thousands of West Papuan students return home over safety fears

Racist harassment of Papuan students in university dormitories in Javanese cities last month sparked weeks of widespread protests and unrest in Papua.

While Indonesian police have started investigations into the harassment, many students claim they continue to face threats and feel unsafe.

As of Monday, 2047 students had been recorded by Papua's provincial government as having left their studies to return to their home region since August.

The majority of the students are from Highlands regencies in Papua.

Munster leaves Vanuatu

The Northern Irish coach joins Bhayangkara in the Indonesian top-flight.

The team is currently sitting 10th in the 18 team league. They finished third last season, after winning the title in 2017.

Munster only took charge of Vanuatu in February and leaves after a disappointing Pacific Games where Vanuatu failed to get out of the group stage.

He also coached the young Vanuatu team that ended fifth out of six teams in the Youth Development Tournament.

Families 'cheated of Boeing crash compensation'

Lawyers told the BBC that many families were persuaded to sign forms preventing them from taking legal action.

BBC Panorama has discovered that other relatives signed similar agreements after two other crashes, stopping them from suing Boeing in the US courts.

Boeing has declined to comment on the agreements.

All 189 passengers and crew died when the Boeing 737 Max crashed into the sea just 13 minutes after taking off from the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, on 29 October 2018.

Within weeks, relatives were offered compensation by insurance lawyers.

Indonesia's Pacific trade show kicks off in New Zealand

Dozens of government and private sector representatives from the Pacific are in Auckland for the Pacific Exposition this week.

On Friday, the foreign ministers of Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia will hold talks, where human rights issues in West Papua are expected to be raised.

Indonesia's ambassador to New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga, Tantowi Yahya, said he hopes to bring economic benefit to the Pacific through trade and tourism.

Papua death toll rises and 4000 evacuated after Sentani floods

Indonesia's National Disaster Management Agency says 70 people were killed by landslides in Jayapura regency and seven others died from floods in Jayapura city.

Rescue teams are searching for 43 people still missing.

More than 4000 people have been evacuated to six locations and more than 11,000 families have been affected by the flash flooding.

According to reports, the disaster management agency has attributed the floods to deforestation and encroachment on a nature reserve in the Cyclops mountains over the past 15 years.

Indonesia urges Vanuatu to improve treatment of women

Vanuatu's government has this week been undergoing its universal periodic review at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

A number of countries have sought updates on gender equality from Vanuatu.

Indonesia's representative, Irwansyah Mukhlis, said his country had deep concerns regarding the condition of women in Vanuatu.

He said despite Vanuatu's attempts at improving human rights since its last review, violence against women remained a problem.