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


Free hostages, say journos

December 18, 2003

Media Release

Free hostages, say journos

New Zealand journalists are joining international calls to free two journalists being held hostage in Aceh.

Their union, the EPMU, has asked Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff to do all he can to persuade the Indonesian government to remove obstacles preventing journalist Ersa Siegar and cameraman Fery Santoro being freed.

They were abducted on June 29 while on assignment in Langsa in Aceh by the Gerakan Aceh Merdeka (Free Aceh Movement).

The 500,000-member International Federation of Journalists, to which New Zealand journalists are affiliated, today delivered a letter to the Indonesian president demanding that the IFJ and the Red Cross be allowed free movement in Aceh so that they might safely retrieve the journalists from GAM.

“The IFJ gained agreement from GAM to hand over the journalists on August 19,” said IFJ president Christopher Warren of Australia.

“However, the journalists are still being held captive because the Indonesian military will not allow the free movement of human rights organisations in the province to secure the release of the two journalists.

“The Government of Indonesia can no longer hide behind the idea that these journalists are being held hostage by the GAM. In truth, it is the lack of action from the Indonesian Government which is stalling these journalists from returning home.”

Mr Warren said that there had been a sharp increase in attacks and violence against the media since the start of the war in Aceh on May 19. The Indonesian military had prohibited the reporting of statements by GAM, which had in turn used this restriction to justify attacks against journalists.

EPMU national secretary Andrew Little said that journalists played a vital role in increasing society’s understanding of events, and they must be free to report news without fear of harm.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN: Decades Of Health Gains At Risk In Brazil Due To COVID-19

Although COVID-19 cases are declining in Brazil, the pandemic is putting decades of public health gains there at risk, the head of the World Health Organization ( WHO ) said on Friday. With global attention and support focused this week ... More>>

UN Report: Myanmar Approaching Point Of Economic Collapse

The turmoil following the military coup in Myanmar, coupled with the impact of COVID-19 could result in up to 25 million people – nearly half of the country’s population, living in poverty by early next year, a United Nations report said on Friday. That ... More>>

World Vision: India’s Second Wave Shows The Global Fight Against COVID-19 Is Far From Won

As India’s COVID-19 daily infection rates reach devastating levels, international aid agency World Vision has warned that the world is nowhere near defeating this virus and some nations are yet to face their worst days. Andrew Morley, World Vision ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>

What COVID-19 Has Taught Us: “Healthcare Can No Longer Exist Without Technology”

A grandmother in a village in the Gambia should have the same quality of life and access to healthcare they deserve as in New York or London. Photo: InnovaRx Global Health Start-up Works To Bridge Healthcare Gap In The Gambia By: Pavithra Rao As ... More>>