Ministry Denies Ban Towards Foreign Journalists in West Papua

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  • French journalists Marie Valentine Louise Bourrat (left) and Thomas Thomas Charles Dandois (right) during a court proceeding in Jayapura, Papua on October 24, 2014. TEMPO/Cunding Levi

    French journalists Marie Valentine Louise Bourrat (left) and Thomas Thomas Charles Dandois (right) during a court proceeding in Jayapura, Papua on October 24, 2014. TEMPO/Cunding Levi

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta -Deputy Foreign Minister Abdurrahman Mohammad Fachir denied that the Foreign Ministry has imposed a ban against foreign journalists from entering Papua to cover human rights cases. According to Fachir, journalists can enter Papua regardless of reporting material. "There is no ban," said Fachir on Wednesday, January 13, 2016.

    Fachir said that foreign journalists will be treated like state guest. For example, the journalists will be questioned about their purpose of visit and whom they will meet during their stay in Indonesia. "But there is no supervision or ban," said Fachir.

    Previously, French journalists Cyril Payen was barred from entering Papua after his documentary titled 'Forgotten War of the Papua' was broadcasted on October 18, 2015. Later on November 2015, Payen was declared as a persona non grata and was forbidden to enter West Papua although President Joko Widodo had already revoked the ban on May 2015.

    Last year, two French journalists, Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat, were sentenced to prison after they were caught trying to make a documentary about separatist movement in West Papua.

    TIKA PRIMANDARI