16 Sep 2014

Pacific media body criticises Jakarta over French pair

5:50 am on 16 September 2014

The Pacific Freedom Forum says Indonesia's President-elect Joko Widodo should keep his campaign promise to open up access to West Papua.

Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat

Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat Photo: AFP

The regional media organisation has criticised Indonesian authorities for doing nothing to countermand the arrests of two French journalists in Papua province.

Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois were arrested on the 6th August in Wamena, and remain detained in Jayapura by Indonesian police, accused of violating their visas.

Indonesian police spokesmen say the pair could face a prison sentence for subversion amid allegations they were involved with pro-independence activists.

The PFF Co-Chair Monica Miller said that decision in Indonesia to prosecute the pair flies in the face of increasing pressure from from the international community to free up access to West Papua for all.

She says the President-elect's failure to take action must raise questions about who really controls West Papua.