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'Don't politicise' planned visit of foreign journalists to W Papua

ROY RATUMAKIN | Tabloid Jubi/Pacific Media Watch | Extract

JAYAPURA - The Indonesian government plans to bring foreign journalists to Papua for 2020 National Press Day, but an independent journalists group has warned against "politicising" the visit.

Lucky Ireeuw, chair of the Jayapura City branch of the Independent Journalist Alliance (AJI), said his group strongly supported the move of the Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Wiranto, to bring the foreign journalists to Papua.

"This is what AJI has been fighting for. We have urged the central government to open as much access as possible to foreign journalists to come and cover Papua without any pressure from various parties.

"However, the arrival of foreign journalists should not be politicised," he told Tabloid Jubi this week.

Ireeuw hopes that the arrival of journalists would not be facilitated just to carry out coverage in accordance with the expectations of the government.

"Journalists in each of their tasks are not directed or mobilised and have the right to do coverage everywhere, and that has become their duty.

"And the duty of a journalist is to write according to the facts happening in the world, especially in Papua," he said.

"If you want to come to Papua and see first-hand life in Papua, it is fine. AJI thinks that in the eyes of the world, Papua is considered to be a 'black spot' in terms of information.

The AJI believes the visit is important - "the problem in Papua is very complex", it says.

"Jayapura is not a benchmark for seeing Papua as a whole. If you want to see the results of development, yes please. But it must also be objective about other issues such as education, health, and also human rights cases that have occurred in Papua," Ireeuw said.


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