Charges against French journalists in West Papua threaten media freedom for all
Friday, 12 September 2014
The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA), the trade union and professional association for Australia’s journalists, is concerned at the implications for media access and reporting on events in West Papua following the arrest, detention and charging of two French journalists who now face five years jail.
Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat were in Indonesia working on a documentary about the West Papua separatist movement (OPM) for the French-German television channel Arte. They were arrested in Wewena, West Papua on Friday August 8 alongside three members of the OPM who were assisting the pair in their documentary. Video footage, audio recordings and the journalist’s belongings including phones and laptops were seized. The journalists, who were working on tourist visas, are being detained by immigration officials.