ABC News, Posted
Foreign journalists will still need permits to report from Papuan provinces, according to Indonesia’s chief security minister, despite president Joko Widodo’s claims the region is now unrestricted.
Mr Widodo announced last weekend that foreign media were free to report from the provinces of Papua and West Papua.
However, his co-ordinating minister for politics, law and security, Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno, said journalists would still need permits and be subjected to “screening”.
He told government-owned newswire Antara the requirements were to stop the government being blamed if journalists went into “forbidden areas”.
There are reportedly other preconditions, including that reporters are not allowed to do anything to “discredit” Indonesia.
Earlier this week, Mr Widodo announced he had lifted the restrictions that previously prevented foreign journalists from travelling to the country’s restive Papuan provinces.
Independence activists in Papua and West Papua often clash with Indonesian military, but the country is determined to hold onto the resource-rich area and had largely blocked foreign media from covering the region.
Last year, two French journalists were arrested in Papua province for reporting while on tourist visas and spent months in detention before being sent back to France
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