JAKARTA, Sep 5, 2019, ANTARA. The Indonesian government has not banned foreign nationals from visiting Papua and West Papua Provinces but has restricted their numbers, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto said in Jakarta Wednesday. “It is not a ban but a restriction,” he told a press conference, reported the ANTARA.
The restriction is aimed at denying entry to provocateurs who want to worsen the increasingly conducive situation in Papua and West Papua as well as at ensuring their safety, he said.
Given the restrictions imposed, foreign nationals wishing to visit Papua and West Papua must meet certain requirements and undergo screening, he said.
However, if complete normalcy returns to Papua and West Papua, the government will encourage foreign tourists to visit there, he said.
Asked about the deportation of four Australians, who had allegedly taken part in a rally before the Sorong Municipal Office a few days ago, he said since there was not enough evidence of their involvement in the rioting they were deported.
“If we had had sufficient evidence, we would have punished them as per our laws,” he said.
The Directorate General of Immigration confirmed that the Sorong Immigration Office had deported the four Australians.
“Indeed, the four Australian nationals were deported for allegedly joining the rally,” Chief of the Public Relations Bureau of the Directorate General of Immigration Sam Fernando noted in a brief message released Monday.
The four Australians were identified as Baxter Tom (37), Davidson Cheryl Melinda (36), Hellyer Danielle Joy (31), and Cobbold Ruth Irene (25).
Reporter: Zuhdiar Laeis/Suharto