12 Aug 2014

NZ urged to lobby for release of journos in West Papua

8:46 pm on 12 August 2014

A West Papua advocacy group is urging New Zealand and other Pacific nations to lobby Indonesian authorities for the immediate release of two French journalists.

Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat, who were working for a French-German television station, were arrested in Indonesia's Papua province for allegedly violating their tourist visas.

They are being held for illegal reporting, but the police add they are suspected of promoting instability.

A spokesperson for West Papua Action Auckland group, Maire Leadbeater, says New Zealand's parliament only recently passed a resolution supporting media freedom in West Papua.

"This is a perfect opportunity really for the Government to put that resolution into action and to make a strong plea to the Indonesian authorities to release those two journalists."

A spokesperson for West Papua Action Auckland, Maire Leadbeater.

Reporters without Borders has also called for the release of the two journalists.