Australian TV crew detained, expelled

SEPTEMBER 13, 2006
Posted: September 28, 2006

Naomi Robson, Today Tonight
Rohan Travis, Today Tonight
Peter Andrew, Today Tonight
Paul Richard, Today Tonight
David John, Today Tonight


A five-person team of Australian reporters from Channel Seven’s Today Tonight news program were detained on September 13 and deported on September 17.

The crew was apprehended by immigration authorities while reporting from the remote island of Papua. Indonesian officials said that the reporters had illegally entered the province on tourist visas when they were required by Indonesian law to obtain special permits to work in the area as journalists.

The group was flown to the capital, Jakarta, where they were questioned and released on the condition that they leave the country within seven days. It was unclear whether Indonesian authorities planned to file formal immigration charges against the reporters, which would potentially black-list them from entering Indonesia.

The news team had planned to report on the Korowai people, one of the last known cannibalistic tribes in the world, according to news reports. Indonesian authorities rarely grant foreign journalists permits to work in the restive, resource-rich region, where Indonesian security forces stand accused of widespread human rights abuses against the local population.