Dutch journalists detained in Papua province
Four Dutch journalists, among them NRC Handelsblad's correspondent Elske Schouten were detained on Tuesday while covering a protest in the Indonesian province of Papua.
According to the Indonesian authorities the four Dutch journalists were detained because they were working without a permit.
The journalists had been given permission to cover Papua independence fighter Nicolaas Jouwe's first trip home after 47 years in exile. When Jouwe was unexpectedly made to take an earlier flight back to Jakarta, the journalists decided to stay behind and attend a pro-independence rally in the provincial capital Jayapura.
After the protest, NRC Handelsblad's Jakarta correspondent Elske Schouten was picked up by police in her hotel room. She was taken to a local police station where she was detained for six hours and was forced to erase the pictures on her digital camera. At the end of the interrogation, she was made to sign a statement. Schouten was then given her passport back. She flew to Jakarta on Wednesday morning.
The other three journalists, all working for Dutch public broadcaster IKON, had to wait until Wednesday morning to pick up their passports.
In a reaction, Dutch foreign minister Maxime Verhagen said he was "surprised"by what he called a "serious" incident.
Elske Schouten blogs at Weblog Jakarta (in Dutch).