3 Sep 2014

Rights groups hopeful on calls to free journos in Papua

9:25 pm on 3 September 2014

Regional rights groups are hoping they can convince Indonesian authorities to free two French journalists in Papua province.

The journalists, who were making a documentary on the West Papuan independence movement, have been in custody for a month on immigration charges. A local leader who had met with them is also being held on charges of rebellion.

Asian media organisations have urged the government to immediately release the journalists.

Amnesty International says restrictions on freedom of expression must end, and all prisoners of conscience must be immediately and unconditionally released.

Amnesty Campaigner Josef Benedict says he's hopeful their calls will be heeded.

"The Indonesian government want to play a major role in the region. They want to be seen to be a country which respects human rights. They've taken the lead on many human rights issues in the region, particularly within the ASEAN movement. So it actually does a disservice to them when they take on or act in this manner in the Papuan region."

Josef Benedict.