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New Petition Launched for Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat

PARIS (FRANCE) - A new petition calling for the immediate release of detained French journalists Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat has been launched by Reporters Without Borders.

French journalists Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois have been detained in the Indonesian province of Papua ever since August 6 when they were arrested while doing a report for the Franco-German TV station Arte.

The petition says:

They decided to work without official permission because they knew it was extremely hard to get a press visa for Papua and because they would be freer to move about and meet all they people they needed to talk to for their story.

But they were caught and now they are accused of violating immigration regulations. Until now, foreign journalists arrested in similar circumstances have been expelled within a few days. But Bourrat and Dandois have been held for nearly two months and are facing the possibility of a long trial and a sentence of up to five years in prison.

Bourrat and Dandois are experienced field reporters whose work has been broadcast in France and other countries and who have received prestigious awards. Their journalistic independence and integrity is recognized by the entire profession and is beyond dispute.

Fundamental freedoms, including the freedom to inform, concern everyone. We therefore call on both well-known figures and ordinary members of the public to sign our petition for the release of Bourrat and Dandois. [RWB]

To sign the petition, click here.

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