UBUD, Aug 4 (JDN.id) – Indonesian authorities at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali has denied entry and detained an Australian student en route to Papua on Saturday.
Belinda Lopez, a PhD candidate from Sydney’s Macquarie University, was told she was on the Indonesian government’s blacklist. She was travelling to Indonesia for honeymoon and visiting friends.
“I’ve been refused entry to Bali and have been held in a room at Denpasar airport on a couch since midnight,” said Lopez on her social media.
JDN.id was unable to contact authorities for confirmation.
Lopez lived and worked in Jakarta in the past as a subeditor for English language newspapers. She has also produced podcasts for ABC in Australia when she returned home.
In 2016, Lopez was in Papua when the immigration office refused to renew her visa, she said. She was told it was only an administrative matter, and not a criminal one. She was unable to enter the territory for six months.
“I was suspected of being a journalist so I had to leave,” she said.
Indonesian government has been dealing with separatists conflicts in Papua for many years. Access to foreign journalists has been made restricted.
Lopez is facing deportation and due to fly out at 10 p.m. tonight.