Diplomats Banned Journalists to Interview Their Source PDF Afdrukken E-mailadres
Geschreven door International Institute for Journalism of InWEnt   
dinsdag 24 maart 2009 01:00

Two members of Indonesian diplomats team on local Papuan rebel issue, Friday (20/3) banned journalists to interview Nicolaas Jouwe, a founding father of Independence Papua Organization (IPO), an organization struggles for independent against Indonesian government.

“Why? This is a democratic country, they should be allowed to cover it,” Nico Jouwe, the son of Nicolaas Jouwe, said to Nicolai Meset, a member of Indonesian diplomats team.

Meset left but later came back with Febiola Ohei, another member of Indonesian diplomats team. To Veby Mega and Fidelis Eka, each from Jurnal Nasional and Jakarta Globe, Ohei and Meset yelled to them whom were interviewing Jouwe.

“Sister, you are not appreciating us, aren’t you? We gave you press conference with Mr.Jouwe just now, but why you come here to interview him again?’, Ohei yelled at me. Meanwhile, Meset pointed his finger on Fidelis and said, “You, bloody idiot!”.

The incident started after press conference at People’s Welfare Ministry. Both journalists went to Sari Pan Pacific Hotel, Jakarta, where Jouwe stayed. In the lobby, Nancy Jouwe, the daughter, welcome the journalists while Nico Jouwe, the son, asked his father for permission of interview for both journalists. Jouwe agreed.

But before the interview begins, Meset asked the Indonesian journalists not to interview Jouwe. He said the interview only given to “Dutch press”. Ohei and Meset later interrupted the journalists interview with Jouwe, and made security asked them to leave the hotel.

Nico Jouwe later apologized for the incident. He said Indonesian government actually treats them well during their stay in Jakarta. Jouwe came to Jakarta with his son and daughter since Wednesday (18/3) from their home in Netherlands. Jouwe came as a guest of Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

“They treat us with respect and this entire long they allow us to talk to anyone. My father is willing to be interviewed by any media, including Indonesian media,” Nico said.

He stated one of the reason why his father, who is now 85 years old, accepted the invitation because the President guarantees them to be free to talk to anybody.

“If my father only gave limited interview, that’s because of his lung infection, so we have to take care of his health. They (the diplomats) can prevent you to interview him but they can’t prevent you to reporting it,” Nico said.

The next day the Jouwes flied to Jayapura, Papua to visit his home town. Jouwe said he want to observe Papua condition right now, and base on that he will discuss it with President Yudhoyono.

Nico Jouwe said the Jouwes appreciated Yudhoyono as the only Indonesian president who wisely gives them freedom to visit their home town and observe the condition by them self. Jouwe has lives in Netherlands since 1962, and became Dutch citizen since Papua sovereignty was given to Indonesia. Since then, Jouwe has never been back to his homeland.

After the World War II, Indonesia and Netherlands, as the former colonial, fought over Papua territory. The rich of gold and copper land later became Indonesian province and made lots of Papua nationalists flew to England and Netherlands for asylum.


The print edition was published in Jurnal Nasional, 21st March 2009