26 Aug 2014

Australia urged to rethink after Papua arrests

8:26 am on 26 August 2014

A spokesperson for the Australian Democratic Labour Party says the arrest of two French journalists in West Papua is unacceptable, and has called on Australia to review its support to Indonesia.

Robert Dandois and Valentine Bourrat were arrested two weeks ago for allegedly violating their tourist visas by reporting for a French-German television station, Arte.

But Anthony Craig says the journalists were just doing their job, and the arrests are an example of the Indonesian military running West Papua like a prison camp.

"If you're going to hide something, then you stop people looking into things. And to have the French journalists locked up because they actually want to find out what's going on in Papua, given the atrocity reports that keep coming out of there, then there's something seriously wrong."

Anthony Craig says a Royal Commission into Australia's foreign aid policy and its military support to Indonesia is urgently needed.