Nethy Dharma Somba, The Jakarta Post, Jayapura | Headlines | Wed, August 13 2014, 9:23 AM
Authorities in Jayapura, Papua, continue to investigate two French journalists who were arrested on Aug. 6, for allegedly abusing their tourist visas.
Thomas Charles Dandois, 40, and Louise Marie Valentine Burrot, 29, who work for French Arte TV station, were questioned by the police and immigration staff at the Jayapura Immigration Office in relation to their activities in Papua.
The officials also examined evidence found with the pair when they were arrested in Wamena.
“There is an indication that the two may be involved with armed criminal groups, especially one operating in Lanny Jaya,” Papua Police deputy chief Brig. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw said in Jayapura on Tuesday.
Paulus said that during their visit, the two met Forkorus Yoboisembut, the chairman of the Papua Customary Council (DAP), who had just finished serving a prison term on July 21 for treason. “Their [the two journalists’] activities in Papua could disrupt state security and safety,” he said.
Ramli AS, the head of the Papua immigration division at the Law and Human Rights Ministry, said the two journalists had violated the Immigration Law by abusing their visas.
According to Law No. 6/2011 on immigration, perpetrators of visa abuse and people who instruct or give others the chance to do so could face five years in prison and be fined Rp 500 million (US$42,776).
“We continue to coordinate with the French Embassy in Jakarta. They have kept questioning us in relation to the investigation of their citizens,” Ramli said, adding that both journalists were being detained at the immigration office during the investigation.
Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders said it deplored the detention of the journalists and called on local authorities to release them immediately.
“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,” said the media freedom watchdog’s secretary-general, Christophe Deloire.
In 2009, the police arrested four Dutch journalists in Papua for covering a rally marking the return of Free Papua Organization (OPM) co-founder Nicholas Jouwe after 40 years in exile in the Netherlands.
The police said the journalists had violated their tourist visas and immigration regulations.
Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said last year that foreign journalists were welcome to visit the province to observe the development in the region.
Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said there were a number of aspects that the government had to take into account, including the province’s special autonomy status that he said was not yet running smoothly.
“When conditions in Papua are not conducive, the government considers it too risky to permit foreigners to visit the region,” Marty said.
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Wed, August 13 2014, 4:29 PM
After the death of Dani tribe chieftain Korea Waker, the security situation in Timika, Papua, has grown increasingly tense.
On Tuesday evening, a group of unknown attackers set fire to a house in Timika after killing five people, allegedly in retaliation for Korea's death. The dead were identified as Mu Said, Muh Agung Kulaken, Noris Timang, Indra Afriadi Saputra and Arfi Duran. The attackers also injured three other people, namely Saiful, Ahmad Rumra and Tini, Antarareported.
Papua Police deputy chief Brig. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw said that, according to initial investigations, Korea's body was found floating in the Kali Merah Kampung Logpon-Pigapu river on Monday evening.
Paulus alleged that the motive of the murder was revenge between the family members of the Dani tribe chieftain and the owners of the house in Timika.
“We will conduct a personal approach with family members of victims to prevent them from carrying out similar revenge,” he said on Wednesday, as quoted by Antara news agency. He added that he would deploy a large number of police officers to secure Timika.
Paulus said that the police had questioned two witnesses regarding the death of Korea, namely his former driver and a female student. They allegedly had close relationships with the victim. (alz)