Jakarta – Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD plans to deport award-winning journalist Philip Jacobson, who allegedly violated his visa restrictions.
"I will contact the National Police and the Law and Human Rights Ministry's Immigration Directorate General to deport him as soon as possible," Mahfud said on Friday.
Mahfud said that the American journalist came to Indonesia on a visit visa. However, during his stay in Indonesia, Jacobson used the opportunity to carry out journalism work.
He also added that he would coordinate with the police and the ministry to see if Jacobson was involved in other crimes, such as espionage or drug trafficking. If he is involved in other crimes, he will not be deported.
"If it's only an administrative violation, then why is he working as a journalist here? Why is he attending various forums with civil organizations, the regional council and such. It's outside of his visa purpose to write news," Mahfud added.
Jacobson, who works for environmental science and conservation news portal Mongabay, has been detained in Palangkaraya Detention Center, Central Kalimantan since Jan. 21.
He was arrested under Article 122 of the 2011 Immigration Law for residency permit misuse. (trn/dpk)