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Two French Journos Detained in Papua

Two French Journos Detained in Papua

The Jakarta Post,Jayapura | Archipelago | Fri, August 08 2014, 6:10 PM

Police in Papua and the French Embassy in Jakarta confirmed on Friday the arrest and detention of two French journalists in Papua.

Journalists Thomas Dandois, 40, and Valentine Bourrat, 29, were allegedly reporting on the Papuan separatist movement for the French-German television station, Arte, when they were arrested on Thursday , said a French embassy official in Jakarta to French news agency AFP, reported .

"Dandois was arrested on Thursday in a hotel room in Wamena, Jayawijaya regency, where he was talking with three members of the Free Papua Movement (OPM)," Papua Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Sulistyo Pudjo Hartono said on Friday. He declined to provide details of Bourrat's arrest, but stated that both journalists had been reporting despite entering Papua on tourist visas.

The government is known to rarely grant access to Papua for foreign journalists or international NGOs. Journalists who are detained by authorities in the region are usually deported.

“We are concerned that the activities of the French journalists were intended to trigger disruptions and instability in Papua,” Hartono said as quoted by

He added that the three OPM members found with the journalists at the Wamena hotel came from Lanny Jaya regency, where last week, five OPM members were shot dead by members of the Indonesian Military (TNI). The shooting took place following the killing of two police officers, which was allegedly carried out by OPM members.

Hartono added that the two journalists were currently being questioned.(dyl)


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