Masrul Fajrin – The Papua Student Alliance (AMP) in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya held a protest action in front of the Surabaya Grahadi building (governor’s office) demanding the immediate release of two French journalists who were arrested not long ago on charges of misusing their passports.
Under the close supervision of police officers from the Surabaya metropolitan district police, the Papuan students called for the immediate release of two French journalists, namely Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat, who have been detained by the immigration office on charges of misusing their visas.
Before arriving in Papua, the two journalists landed in Jakarta to seek a permit to make a documentary on culture in the West Papua region. After they arrived in Papua however, on or around August 6 they were arrested on the grounds that the visas they were using were tourist visas not working visas.
In response to this, the Papua students said they hoped that the related institutions and officials would immediately release the two journalists.
“Neither are criminals but rather they were simply carrying out their journalistic duties to investigate the cultures that exist in West Papua, so based on this release them immediately”, said action coordinator Werner.
Although there were not a large number of protesters, police were forced to work extra hard to avoid traffic congestion because the Papua students insisted on giving speeches on the shoulder of Jl. Gubernur Suryo Surabaya (rul/rid)
[Translated by James Balowski.]