20 Nov 2013

Indonesian journalist says rules on foreign press in Papua should be relaxed

4:37 pm on 20 November 2013

The President of the Alliance of Independent Journalists of Indonesia says his government should clarify the rules for foreign journalists seeking to visit West Papua.

Eko Maryadi, who was imprisoned as a journalist during the days of the Suharto regime, says even at the recent Bali Democracy Forum there was no talk of the remote provinces.

He says the Indonesian government is within its rights to regulate who is coming in and out of the country, but it should take a new approach and make its rules more clear.

"If the government believes in democracy, believes in freedom of the press, believe in freedom of expression and believe in the human rights values, so all of them should be implemented fairly easily. I mean to let a foreign journalist come, all they have to do is make a regulation - what a foreign journalist can do and what he cannot do."

Eko Maryadi says journalists can freely visit Bali and other places in Indonesia and there is no reason to make it so hard to visit West Papua.