Pacific Scoop

Freeport mine journalist criticises Indonesia over Papuan human rights record

Karen Abplanalp

Auckland photojournalist Karen Abplanalp speaking at the Bruce Jesson investigative awards last month. Image: © John Miller/PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By the Pacific Media Centre news desk

Photojournalist Karen Abplanalp, who has won three awards for her exposé on New Zealand investment in the human rights violated giant Freeport mine in West Papua, has criticised Indonesian policies in the Melanesian territory.

Geraldine Coutts interviewed Abplanalp on Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat programme today.

Her feature article “Blood Money”published in Metro magazine last December has won her the Sally A. White Prize for Investigative Journalism and Best Feature Award in the annual Ossie Awards for student journalism this week, as well as last month’s Bruce Jesson Emerging Journalist Award in New Zealand.

Asked if journalists were doing enough about the issues in West Papua, Abplanalp, a research associate of AUT University’s Pacific Media Centre, said: “No, definitely not, but to be fair to them, the NZ and Australian governments need to be doing more to pressure Indonesia to allow international journalists and the Red Cross into Papua.”

She added: “How can Indonesia, as chair of ASEAN, say that human rights are top of the ASEAN agenda, yet still have severe human rights abuses going on in Papua?”

Awards story

ABC’s radio interview