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WEST PAPUA: Journalists beware, says new media freedom report


© Malcolm Evans / Pacific Journalism Review

Monday, October 17, 2011

Item: 7664

WELLINGTON (Radio NZ International / Pacific Media Watch): A new report has found Indonesia’s West Papua region is the most dangerous place for a journalist to visit in the Pacific.

The study by the Pacific Media Centre at Auckland’s University of Technology began in July last year and examined media freedom in the countries of the Pacific Islands Forum, East Timor as well as the French Pacific territories and West Papua.

The centre’s director, Associate Professor David Robie, says West Papua has the worst environment for journalists.

“Things came to a head in West Papua particularly in August with a number of demonstrations and Indonesian security forces clamping down on the civil rights of the West Papuans - particularly [there’s] been a lot of difficulty with the media. Two journalists being killed, five either being abducted or attempted abductions and another 18 or so being attacked.”

- The co-author of the Pacific Media Freedom report Dr David Robie.

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Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators.
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