Indonesia: Ban on Australian film Balibo

The Indonesian government has placed a ban on the screening of the Australian feature film Balibo due to its sensitive issues.

The film tells the story of 5 Australian based journalists who were killed in the town of Balibo in Timor Leste in 1975. The Film Censorship Board in Indonesia argues that it could ‘reopen old wounds’ about East Timor. A screening of Balibo was orginally scheduled at the 11th Jakarta International Film Festival (JIFFest) but was cancelled after the festival committee received notification of the ban on Tuesday.

Indonesia bans “Balibo Five” film

Indonesia’s censorship board has banned an Australian-made film about the alleged murder five journalists by Indonesian troops during the 1975 invasion of East Timor. The ruling came just hours before a planned premiere screening of Balibo was due to take place forcing organisers to cancel. Jakarta maintains they were killed accidentally in cross-fire however in 2007 an Australian coroner concluded that the journalists had been executed. A sixth Australian journalist was killed in Dili shortly afterwards while investigating the deaths. Read more here

Jakarta libel case ruling “a win for free speech”

The Jakarta press council have welcomed the Jakarta High Court’s decision to overturn a guilty verdict imposed on a kiosk owner who had been convicted of libel for having written a complaint letter about a property company. Press council member Abdullah Alamudi said that the council was pleased the court had supported freedom of speech. Read more here