6 Jul 2009

Al-Jazeera drops scheduled Papua film

12:52 pm on 6 July 2009

In what seems to be a last minute decision, the television news network Al-Jazeera English has decided not to premiere this week a highly-sensitive documentary highlighting the plight of Papuans.

The Jakarta Post reports it also removed the film's synopsis from the list of feature films it will broadcast, which is published on its website.

The paper says it is not clear whether the Qatar-based TV-channel had postponed or completely called off the screening of the controversial documentary.

Titled 'Pride of Warriors', the documentary was directed by Australian filmmaker Jono van Hest, who claimed to have smuggled six video cameras into the troubled Papua area.

He says the filmmaking was inspired by the arrival of 43 Papuans seeking refugee status from the Australian government in 2006.

An Indonesian foreign ministry spokesperson, Teuku Faizasyah, says the government has not made any contact with Al-Jazeera to protest against the TV channel's decision to air the documentary or to request it cancel the screening.