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

 


Indonesian Province of Papua: Two French Journalists Held

Two French journalists held for past five days in Indonesian province of Papua

11 August 2014

Police say they are suspected of promoting instability in the region

Reporters Without Borders deplores the detention of French journalists Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat in the Indonesian province of Papua (on the island of New Guinea) since 6 August and calls on the local authorities to release them at once.

Employed by Memento, a production company, they were doing a report on the Indonesian half of New Guinea for the Franco-German TV channel Arte. Officially, they are being held for violating immigration regulations but the police say they are suspected of promoting instability. Dandois’ fixer and interpreter was also arrested.

Reporters Without Borders regards their continuing detention as illegal.

They were covering the living conditions of the local population and separatist demands. According to the information obtained by Reporters Without Borders, they were arrested in the town of Wamena and were interrogated by the police for 36 hours.

After taking their passports, the police then allowed them to spend the night in a hotel in Wamena. But, on 8 August, the police transferred them to the provincial capital of Jayapura, where they have been held ever since.

“That Dandois and Bourrat were doing a report on Papua is beyond all question,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire. “These two reporters are known for their integrity and honesty. Holding them for such a long time must be regarded as a violation of media freedom. We urge the authorities to release them without delay.”

The Indonesia authorities have drastically restricted access by foreign journalists to the western half of New Guinea since 1969 because of the existence of significant state violence against civilians, ongoing civil resistance, and the existence of a separatist movement which they have tried to suppress using a great deal of force.

President-elect Jokowi Widodo, who is to be sworn in on 20 October, promised during his campaign to open up Western New Guinea to journalists. The July presidential election has been portrayed as the outcome of the country’s democratization.

An experienced reporter who has worked in Somalia, Burma, Kosovo, Darfur and the Gaza Strip, Dandois was arrested in Niger in 2007 while making a documentary about the Tuareg rebellion. The Festival International du Grand Reportage d’Actualité (FIGRA) awarded him the prize for the best report of less than 40 minutes in 2012.

A freelance photographer and camera operator, Bourrat is the daughter of the well-known TF1 reporter Patrick Bourrat, who was killed while reporting in Kuwait in 2002.

Indonesia is ranked 132nd out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 


$1 Billion In Reparations For Iraq's Invasion Of Kuwait

UN Panel Pays Out Over $1 Billion in Reparations for Iraq's Invasion of Kuwait More>>

UN-Backed Tsunami Warning System Test

A view of the destruction caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26 December 2004 in Point Pedro, a small fishing village in northern Sri Lanka. UN Photo/Evan Schneider More>>

Al Jazeera To Mark 300 Days Since Arrests Of Journalists

• 300 second montage to mark 300 days to be aired on Al Jazeera • Parents of Peter Greste say the past 300 days has been stressful Doha , 23 October, 2014 More>>

4 Months’ Jail For French Journos Should Be Enough

'We hope it will be a lesson for foreigners to not violate their visas in Indonesia.' More>>

Support Needed For Olive Farmers In Palestinian Territory

Olive trees in the Palestinian town of Ni'lin in 2008 were very close to expanding Israeli settlements. Photo: IRIN/Shabtai Gold More>>

ALSO:

Use Of Drones In Law Enforcement May Violate Human Rights

22 October 2014 – The increasing use of armed drones within domestic law enforcement risks depersonalizing the use of force and infringing upon the rights of individual citizens, a United Nations independent human rights expert warned today. More>>

Gaza: Pledges For Aid, Reconstruction Must Be Honoured

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Security Council President for the month of October, María Cristina Perceval of Argentina, is at ... More>>

Ebola: UN Prepares For Arrival Of Trial Vaccines

In early October 2014, with the help of the US Navy, a new mobile laboratory opened at Island Clinic, one of the WHO-supported Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: WHO/R. Sørenson More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news