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Portuguese Reporters Denied Entry To NTT

JAKARTA (IO) -- Police in the Indonesian eastern province of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) refused to let two Portuguese journalists enter the area because they did not hold a permit from the local immigration office.

"We stopped the two journalists because they only produced a permit from the Indonesian consulate in Dili and had no permit from the local immigration office," chief of the Belu police office Lt. Col. SM Simatupang said on Saturday, as reported by Antara.

The two Portuguese journalists are Antonio Joaquin Zambojinho Velades from RDP and Joao Pedro Martins Da Fonseca from Diario de Noticias publications.

"They only held a journalistic visa and intended to enter East Nusa Tenggara through Mota Ain bordering on East Timor to cover the latest developments about East Timorese refugees camped in West Timor (East Nusa Tenggara)," he said.

The two journalists returned to East Timor on Saturday after being briefed by a liaison officer of the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), he said.

Actually, the local security agencies do not ban foreign journalists from covering the condition of East Timorese refugees camped in NTT, he said. "We do not ban foreign journalists from visiting here so long as they report to the immigration authorities. If necessary, police will escort them while

performing their journalistic duties," he said.

East Timorese militias fled to NTT after the former Portuguese territory

voted for independence last August.


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