Feb 5, 2018

Indonesian military sensitivity sends BBC journalist packing from Papua

West Papua has shown once again that freedom of speech is only for those who follow the rules.

Professor Damien Kingsbury

Crikey international affairs commentator

Papua New Guinea

The arrest and expulsion of Australian journalist Rebecca Henschke from the Indonesian province of (West) Papua over the weekend again highlights the sensitivities of the Indonesian military, the TNI, and its desire for over the territory. It also shows, again, that while Papua is more open to journalists than in the past, that openness remains limited, reflecting the TNI’s deep paranoia about separatist sentiments in the mineral-rich province.

Henschke, a BBC correspondent in Jakarta, was arrested after tweeting that malnourished children in Papua were to be given "instant noodles, super sweet soft drinks and biscuits" and that children in hospital have chocolate biscuits to eat "and that’s it". Henschke also tweeted a picture of Indonesian soldiers with a bird in a cage, which could have been interpreted as illegal wildlife smuggling.

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3 thoughts on “Indonesian military sensitivity sends BBC journalist packing from Papua

  1. GeeBee

    Thanks for the article and coverage of Papua/West Papua province issues. But regarding the image – and I could be wrong – but they look like members of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (ie Papua New Guinea’s police force), not the Indonesian military. Those hills look a lot like Port Moresby’s…

  2. AR

    And which Hegemon owns most of the massive wealth of those mines?
    If the author’s fax machine is two-way then I’m sure Langley VA could answer that question.

  3. klewso

    How Tuppence must look to Indonesia with green eyed lust?

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