11 Aug 2014

French journos charged in Indonesia

1:03 pm on 11 August 2014

Two French journalists arrested in Indonesia's Papua province last week have reportedly been charged with violating the immigration law.

Local media reports say the two journalists, Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat, are alleged to have violated their tourist visas by carrying out reporting activities.

Police say they were reporting on the Papuan separatist movement in Jayawijaya.

The French embassy in Jakarta says the pair were working for the French-German television station, Arte.

They are in police custody in Jayapura.

Suara Papua reports that if found to have misused their permit, the pair face a maximum potential jail term of five years and a fine of more than 40,000 US dollars.

Indonesian police say foreign journalists remain banned from Papua by central government.

This is despite the Governor of Papua, Lucas Enembe, last October declaring that he welcomes foreign journalists to Papua to witness the progress taking place there.