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Jakarta Post

Moeldoko stresses continued existence of '€˜clearing house'€™

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, May 29, 2015   /  03:08 pm

Indonesian Military (TNI) Chief Gen. Moeldoko reiterated on Friday the continuation of the controversial '€œclearing house'€ procedure, saying that foreign journalists would still be obliged to obtain permits from a joint team to travel to Papua and West Papua.

The policy, according to Moeldoko, is intended to anticipate the possibility of certain interests infiltrating the country through foreign journalists. "[Foreign journalists] are not allowed [to enter Indonesia] as they wish. This is a sovereign country."

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo recently opened Papua to foreign journalists, overturning a decades-long policy of restricted media access. But his ministers have said that the government will maintain the clearing house authorized to issue permits for foreign journalists to travel to Papua and West Papua.

The team, consisting of 12 government ministries and agencies as well as the TNI and the National Police, recently changed its name to the Monitoring Team for Foreign Journalists in Indonesia.

Moeldoko added that the military would monitor the performance of foreign journalists. "If they undermine our government and state and their reports contain defamation that triggers unrest, they may be expelled," he said in Surabaya as quoted by Antara news agency.(++++)

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