12 Aug 2014

Call to release journalists in Papua

6:28 am on 12 August 2014

Reporters without Borders has called for the release of two French journalists being detained by police in Indonesia's Papua region.

Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat were reporting for a French-German television station, Arte.

They are being held for violating immigration regulations but police say they are suspected of promoting instability.

Reporters without Borders, which helps defend freedom of information around the world, says the pair has been held for six days after being arrested in Wamena and were interrogated for 36 hours.

The group says the reporters have since been transferred to Jayapura where they are being held.

It says they were covering local people's living conditions and separatist demands and says their detention is a violation of media freedom.

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.