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.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Palestinian Ministry of Health: Developments In The Health Situation During The Israeli Aggression On The Cities & Governorates Of The Gaza Strip
For the second day in a row, the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip continues by targeting overcrowded residential areas and neighborhoods, as the death toll rose to 13 citizens, including a 5-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman... More>>


UN: Horn Of Africa Faces Most ‘Catastrophic’ Food Insecurity In Decades, Warns WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Tuesday that the Greater Horn of Africa is experiencing one of the worst famines of the last 70 years... More>>

FAO: Warns 90 Per Cent Of Earth’s Topsoil At Risk By 2050
A full 90 per cent of the Earth’s precious topsoil is likely to be at risk by 2050, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO...
More>>


Somalia: ‘We Cannot Wait For Famine To Be Declared; We Must Act Now’
Rising acute food insecurity in Somalia has caused more than 900,000 people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance since January last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned... More>>

UN: American West Faces Water And Power Shortages Due To Climate Crisis
Two of the largest reservoirs in the United States are at dangerously low levels due to the climate crisis and overconsumption of water, which could affect water and electricity supply for millions in six western states and Mexico, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Tuesday... More>>



Singapore: UN Experts Call For Immediate Moratorium On Executions For Drug Offences

UN experts* today condemned the execution of Nazeri Bin Lajim, a 64-year-old Malay Singaporean national convicted of drug offenses and urged the Government of Singapore to halt plans to execute individuals on death row for drug related charges... More>>