Two French journalists jailed for months in West Papua are due to appear in court today, on the same day as the inauguration of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Amy McQuire reports.
Two French journalists imprisoned for more than two months in the Indonesian province of West Papua with no charge are facing court today, on the same day of the inauguration of the incoming President Joko
The journalists – Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrate, from the French-German Arte Channel – have been jailed without charge since August 6 this year.
There are concerns they will be charged with espionage, but formal charges will not be laid until they are brought to court later today.
A local fixer was also arrested with the journalists, and there are concerns for the safety of locals with whom they came into contact.
Dandois and Bourrate were arrested for abusing the conditions of their tourism visa to enter the notoriously media-shy province of West Papua, where foreign media is largely banned.
But while foreign journalists are often detained for a few hours or a day, and then deported, the two French journalists are a different case, with the Papuan police spokesperson Sulistyo Pudjo alleging to media that the journalists “were part of an effort to destabilise Papua”, according to Human Rights Watch.