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September 5, 2014 - Updated on January 20, 2016

Indonesian authorities urged to expel French journalists held since 6 August


They are facing possible trial on an immigration violation charge with a maximum sentence of five years in prison
Reporters Without Borders calls on the Indonesia authorities to quickly release and expel Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois, two French journalists who have been detained in the Indonesian province of Papua (on the island of New Guinea) since 6 August for working without press visas. As they had contacted local separatists, they were initially facing the possibility of subversion and destabilization charges although the French authorities and the Franco-German TV station Arte rapidly confirmed their identity and the fact that they were in Papua to do a report. Immigration officials told the news media yesterday that their detention has been extended for another 40 days, and that the case file will be transferred in the next few days to prosecutors in Jayapura, the provincial capital, where the two journalists are being held. Their lawyer, Aristo Pangaribuan, said they could be tried for a violation of immigration regulations, which they admit. Ever since their arrest, they have apologized for working without press visas and have done everything possible to satisfy the demands of the local police. If brought to trial, they are facing the possibility of five-year jail sentences for the immigration violation. “Bourrat and Dandois should be treated like other journalists who have been arrested in similar conditions in the past,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “In other words, they should be expelled quickly. The threat of a trial for a routine visa violation suggests that the local authorities are trying to set an example that will deter all other foreign journalists in the future.” Bourrat and Dandois are professional journalists who have always acted with integrity in the course of long careers. A freelance video reporter, Bourrat is the daughter of the well-known TF1 reporter Patrick Bourrat, who was killed while reporting in Kuwait in 2002. She has been reporting in the Middle East and France’s overseas territories since 2009. In the first half of 2010, she did several stories for “Enquêtes Exclusives” and “Zone Interdite” for the TV station M6. She went to Denmark in February 2013 to write the “Petit Futé” tourist guide. A few months later, she investigated Caribbean culture and spirituality for the programme “Dieu m’est témoin.” Later the same year, Paris Match published her interview with the singer Aryana Sayeed in Afghanistan. It will also be the subject of a report for the Arte programme “Tracks” next year. Dandois is an experienced reporter who has worked in Vietnam, Burma, Russia and elsewhere, winning the prize for the best report of less than 40 minutes at the 2012 Festival International du Grand Reportage d’Actualité (FIGRA). He covered the French equestrian showman and producer “Bartabas” in Moscow in 2012. He travelled the Mekong River in Vietnam for an Arte report in 2011. He has covered Burma since the military began a transition to democracy, looking at such aspects as astrology, youth and culture. The French state-owned channel France 2 broadcast several of his reports in January 2013. All of the main French TV stations have broadcast reports by this versatile journalist in the past 12 years, trusting him to provide innovative and objective coverage on a wide range of subjects. They have included “Travel notes in Ireland” (Arte, 2005), “Earthquake rescues in Pakistan” (France 5, 2005) and “Revolt by undocumented immigrants” in the United States (Arte, 2007). Indonesia is ranked 132nd out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. ---------- Indonesian version

Pihak berwenang Indonesia didesak untuk membebaskan Valentine Bourrat dan Thomas Dansois, yang ditahan sejak 6 Agustus

Mereka mungkin akan menghadapi tuntutan karena pelanggaran visa dengan hukuman maksimal lima tahun penjara.

Reporters Without Borders menyerukan agar pihak berwenang Indonesia segera membebaskan dan memulangkan dua wartawan Perancis yang telah ditahan di provinsi Papua karena meliput tanpa visa pers. Di Papua mereka menghubungi beberapa aktivis, karenanya mereka dihadapkan pada kemungkinan tuntutan subversi dan destabilisasi. Secepatnya otoritas Perancis dan stasiun TV Perancis-Jerman Arte mengkonfirmasi identitas mereka, bahwa mereka berada di Papua untuk melakukan liputan. Pejabat imigrasi mengatakan kepada media massa, kemarin, bahwa penahanan mereka telah diperpanjang selama 40 hari. Dan berkas perkara, dalam beberapa hari, akan dilimpahkan ke kejaksaan di Jayapura, ibukota provinsi Papua, di mana dua wartawan tersebut ditahan. Pengacara mereka, Aristo Pangaribuan, mengatakan mereka bisa diadili karena pelanggaran peraturan imigrasi, yang telah mereka akui. Sejak penangkapan, keduanya telah meminta maaf karena bekerja tanpa visa pers dan telah mememenuhi segala tuntutan polisi setempat. Jika dibawa ke pengadilan, mereka menghadapi kemungkinan lima tahun hukuman penjara atas pelanggaran imigrasi. "Bourrat dan Dandois harus diperlakukan seperti wartawan lain yang telah ditangkap dalam kondisi yang sama di masa lalu," tegas sekjen Reporters Without Borders Christophe Deloire. "Dengan kata lain, mereka harus dipulangkan segera. Ancaman tuntutan pelanggaran visa menunjukkan bahwa pemerintah daerah mencoba untuk memberi contoh untuk menghalangi semua wartawan asing lain di masa depan." Bourrat dan Dandois adalah wartawan profesional yang selalu bertindak dengan integritas dalam perjalanan karir yang panjang. Bourrat, seorang wartawan freelance video, adalah putri reporter TF1 terkenal Patrick Bourrat, yang tewas saat liputan di Kuwait pada tahun 2002. Dia telah meliput di Timur Tengah dan beberapa negara lainnya sejak 2009. Pada semester pertama tahun 2010. Dia yang membuat beberapa cerita terkenal, "Enquêtes Eksklusif" dan "Zona Interdite" untuk stasiun TV M6. Dia pergi ke Denmark pada bulan Februari 2013 untuk menulis panduan wisata, "Petit Futé". Beberapa bulan kemudian, dia menyelidiki budaya Karibia dan spiritualitas untuk program "Dieu Temoinm'est." Kemudian pada tahun yang sama, Paris Match menerbitkan wawancaranya dengan penyanyi Aryana Sayeed di Afghanistan. Ini juga akan menjadi subjek dari sebuah laporan untuk program Arte"Trek" tahun depan. Dandois adalah wartawan berpengalaman yang telah bekerja di Vietnam, Burma, Rusia dan tempat lainnya. Ia memenangkan hadiah laporan terbaik untuk kategori laporan berdurasi dibawah 40 menit di Festival Internasional du Grand Reportase d'Actualité (FIGRA) 2012. Dia meliput sandiwara berkuda Perancis dan produser "Bartabas" di Moskow pada tahun 2012. Ia pergi ke Sungai Mekong di Vietnam untuk membuat laporan Arte pada tahun 2011. Dia telah meliput Burma sejak rezim militer mulai bertransisi ke demokrasi untuk melihat aspek-aspek seperti astrologi, pemuda dan budaya. Saluran milik negara Prancis France 2 menyiarkan beberapa laporannya pada bulan Januari 2013. Semua stasiun utama TV Perancis telah menyiarkan laporan wartawan serbabisa ini dalam 12 tahun terakhir, percaya bahwa liputan dia inovatif dan obyektif tentang berbagai subyek. Hasil liputannya termasuk: "catatan Wisata di Irlandia" (Arte, 2005), "Penyelamatan Gempa di Pakistan" (Prancis 5, 2005) dan "Pemberontakan oleh imigran gelap" di Amerika Serikat (Arte, 2007). Indonesia berada di peringkat 132 dari 180 negara pada indeks kebebasan pers Reporters Without Borders 2014.