Bangkok, January 12, 2016 - The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Indonesia's refusal to issue a media visa to French journalist Cyril Payen. The Bangkok-based senior reporter for France 24 television received notice of the denial from Indonesia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs without explanation on Friday, he told CPJ.
"Change does not come overnight," President Joko Widodo's right-hand man, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, told an international delegation of 10 media and freedom of expression groups that visited Indonesia last month.
While just under 200 journalists are behind bars, CPJ witnessed several memorable releases in 2015, including in Vietnam, Ethiopia, and even secretive Eritrea. Some of the journalists had spent years behind bars; they endured isolation and several say they were tortured. This year, CPJ’s advocacy contributed to the release of at least 31 journalists. Some of their stories are shown here.
New York, November 3, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the conviction of British filmmakers Neil Bonner and Rebecca Prosser who, according to reports, were sentenced to two and a half month in prison in Indonesia today. The conviction represents a failure of the government to reverse its long-standing anti-media policies.
New York, October 22, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by the continued detention and trial of two British filmmakers who have been held in Indonesia since May 28. They are being held with the general prison population in a provincial jail in Batam, according to family members.
This past month marked 19 years since Indonesian journalist Fuad Mohammad Syfruddin was murdered. On August 16, 1996, Udin, as he was popularly known, died from injuries he sustained during an attack by unidentified assailants in his home. Udin, a correspondent for the Yogyakarta daily Bernas, had written articles on land disputes and local government corruption.
Joshua Oppenheimer travelled to New York for today's premiere of his documentary "The Look of Silence," but one place he won't travel is Indonesia, where he says his work on this and an earlier film puts him at risk. Earlier this week, Laura Poitras, the Academy Award-winning director of the documentary CITIZENFOUR, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government seeking information related to border interrogations to which she was subjected between 2006 and 2012. These two cases represent the increased and varied risks facing filmmakers and their sources in what many critics have dubbed the Golden Age of documentary film.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced over the weekend that his government would allow foreign journalists to report unrestricted from the country's eastern Papuan provinces, breaking a virtual 50-year blackout of international news coverage of the restive region. The announcement raises the prospect of an independent media check on one of Asia's most under-reported civil conflicts between the Indonesian state and Free Papua Movement rebel group.
With more than 50 years of restricted media access, one of the least covered armed conflicts in the world is the long-simmering struggle between Indonesia's military and the secessionist Free Papua Movement. Under Indonesia's seven successive post-independence governments--the early ones led by autocratic strongmen, the recent ones more or less democratically elected--the world has been deprived of details of the persistent low-intensity battle for autonomy playing out in the Papuan provinces.
Do you believe the free flow of information must be protected? Sign the #RightToReport petition and demand that President Obama immediately:
1. Issue a presidential policy directive prohibiting the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations.
2. Limit aggressive prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers.
3. Prevent the harassment of journalists at the U.S. border.
Or click here to see the full petition, and join leading journalists like Christiane Amanpour, The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the AP Kathleen Carroll, and Arianna Huffington in signing on.