World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


East Timor Support Group Slams Media 'Hypocrisy'

* Pacific Media Watch Online - check the website for archive and links:
* Post a comment on PMW's Right of Reply:


DARWIN (Pacific Media Watch): A Darwin-based East Timor lobby group has called on the Indonesian military to free detained American journalist William Nessen, allow journalists to do their job, and to respect human rights.

It also called on the military (TNI) to "ensure the safety and wellbeing of Nessen", said a media statement today by the Australians for a Free East Timor group criticising media "hypocrisy" over the crackdown in the province of Aceh.

The media release followed yesterday's posting of a Jakarta Post report, "Media blasts curbs in Aceh", on the Pacific Media Watch website and listserve.

The statement by spokesman Rob Wesley-Smith criticised the June 28 Jakarta Post report on media condemnation over curbs on reporting by failing to mention detained journalist William Nessen.

"Nessen is being treated like a non-journalist, not only by the TNI but by his colleague journalists, and it seems now by the US government which urged him to 'surrender' to TNI forces," Wesley-Smith said.

"As a journalist on a journalists visa, he should never have had to 'surrender', and should not have been in danger and targeted by TNI. After all he was just doing his job.

"When one reads the media had an 'obligation to observe and tell our readers what is really going on in Aceh', and concerns of a lack of public scrutiny over the war, then one has to ask how is that to happen if no journalist can observe at close quarters the GAM and villagers.

"The same thing happened in East Timor, which was a closed area from 1975 to 1989. When journalists and outside activists got to report from inside, the true situation of massive human rights abuses by the brutal TNI occupation was laid clear for all to see.

"William Nessen also reported on East Timor from the mountains, no doubt beginning the enmity shown by the TNI.

"William Nessen is from that rare class of investigative journalists who is prepared to put his life on the line to present the true story. That is quite different to saying his life is worthless or is expendable - in fact the opposite is the case.

"Australians for a Free East Timor call on the Indonesian Government and its military the TNI to treat all people in Aceh fairly and with proper regard to human rights, to allow journalists to do their job properly, and in particular to ensure the safety and wellbeing of William Nessen and to free him from detention. We call on the USA and the Indonesian journalists to support this call."

More information: Australians for a Free East Timor Box 2155 Darwin NT 0801 61 8 89832113 0419 807175



PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media based in Sydney, Journalism Studies at the University of PNG (UPNG), the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ), Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and Community Communications Online (c2o).

(c)1996-2003 Copyright - All rights reserved.

Items are provided solely for review purposes as a non-profit educational service. Copyright remains the property of the original producers as indicated. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright owner for any publishing. Copyright owners not wishing their materials to be posted by PMW please contact us. The views expressed in material listed by PMW are not necessarily the views of PMW or its members.

Recipients should rely on their own inquiries before making decisions based on material listed in PMW. Please copy appeals to PMW and acknowledge source.

For further information, inquiries about joining the Pacific Media Watch

listserve, articles for publication, and giving feedback contact Pacific

Media Watch at: E-mail: Fax: (+679) 30 5779 or (+612) 9660 1804 Mail: PO Box 9, Annandale, NSW 2038, Australia or, PO Box 78028, Auckland 1002, New Zealand. New website:

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>


Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC