23 Oct 2014

Visa rules at centre of Papua trial

2:42 pm on 23 October 2014

An Indonesian expert witness says the two French journalists on trial in Papua for misuse of a tourist visa were involved in journalistic activities as defined by law.

The Jakarta post says the assessment was made the foreign ministry's director of information and media, Siti Sofia Sudarma, on the third day of the trial of Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat.

She says evidence obtained by the ministry shows the two journalists had admitted they had misused their tourist visas to report on news in Papua and West Papua.

Siti Sofia Sudarma says foreign journalists who intended to report from across Indonesia must apply for a permit to the Indonesian representative in the countries where they come from.

She says 18 ministries and related institutions are involved in the process of issuing a permit.

The trial is expected to end tomorrow.

Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois

Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois Photo: AFP