13 Jan 2016

Indonesia slammed for banning journalist from Papua

9:15 am on 13 January 2016

The Indonesian government has drawn a rebuke from Reporters Without Borders after it banned a French journalist who produced a documentary on Papua.

Downtown Jayapura.

Downtown Jayapura, the capital of West Papua. Photo: RNZ / Koroi Hawkins

The Jakarta Globe reports Cyril Payen visited Papua in mid-2015 after obtaining official authorisation, and then produced "Forgotten War of the Papuans", which aired last October.

The Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, who pledged to open up the restive provinces to foreign media, summoned the French ambassador.

Mr Payen, who lives in Thailand, has had his request for a new visa revoked.

The head of Reporters Without Borders' Asia-Pacific desk, Benjamin Ismail, said in a statement that he condemns such a flagrant violation of media freedom.

Mr Ismail says Mr Widodo's promise to open up the provinces to international media was deceptive.

In last year's RSF press freedom index, Indonesia ranked 138th out of 180 countries.

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