5 Apr 2017

Jokowi urged to honor promise to free up media access to West Papua

4:28 pm on 5 April 2017

The international media watchdog, Reporters Without Borders, has called on the Indonesian President Joko Widodo to keep his election promise to allow local and international journalists to operate in West Papua without obstruction or surveillance.

Indonesia President Joko Widodo

Indonesia President Joko Widodo Photo: supplied

Tabloid Jubi reported this call came after the expulsion of French journalists Franck Escudie and Basile Longchamp on visa violations last month.

RSF's Benjamin Ismail said the Indonesian president had undertaken to scrap the restrictions that obstruct the work of foreign journalists in West Papua.

Indonesian police clamp down on West Papuan pro-independence demonstrators.

Indonesian police clamp down on West Papuan pro-independence demonstrators. Photo: Tabloid Jubi

But he said Jakarta's repeated refusals to issue press visas and the growing number of journalists on its blacklist, shows it falls far short of qualifying as a country that supports freedom of expression and media freedom.

During his campaign for election as president in July 2014, Joko Widodo said he would allow journalists to visit West Papua freely, and raised hopes media freedom would be revived in the region.

no cpation

no cpation Photo: RNZ / Koroi Hawkins

Indonesia is ranked 130th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2016 World Press Freedom Index.

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