Indonesia deports 2 French journalists for visa breach

 20 Mar 2017 - 12:18

Indonesia deports 2 French journalists for visa breach
File Photo: Immigration Office spokesman Agung Sampurno.

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TUBAN, Indonesia: Indonesia has deported two French journalists for violating their visas by shooting a documentary without permission in the easternmost province of Papua. 

Immigration Office spokesman Agung Sampurno said Sunday that the journalists, Jean Frank Pierre and Basille Marie Longhamp, were sent home Friday using UAE air carrier Etihad. 

"Two French journalists were deported because their visas were not in accordance with their activities here," said Sampurno in a written statement. 

He said the pair said they were making a film about nature, culture, and other attractions at several locations in Papua for the “Explorers Network". 

They arrived in Jakarta on March 9 and went to Papua after getting visas on arrival. 

A local immigration office questioned them twice after finding out they planned to take footage from a rented helicopter, as “journalistic activities" are not covered by their visas. 

After realizing their mistake, they had to apply for journalistic visas, but this violated procedures, Sampurno added.

In 2014, two French journalists were similarly deported for carrying out journalistic activities during a tourist visit. 

Indonesia's central government keeps a tight grip on the province and rarely grants foreign journalists full access to report independently in the region.