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2 Foreign Documentarians Asked to Turn Back at Security Checkpoint in Indonesia's Aceh

May 10, 2021, 05.03 PM

BANDA ACEH, -Two foreign documentarians from Germany and the US were stopped by officers at a security checkpoint on the border between Aceh and North Sumatera during the travel ban ahead of Eid al-Fitr holiday Friday, May 7.

The internal travel ban has been carried out since May 6 to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Indonesia where confirmed cases usually climb during holiday season. The ban will be lifted after the holiday on May 17. 

Adjunct Senior Commissioner of Police (AKBP) Qori Wicaksono, Subulussalam Police Chief, said the two foreigners were part of the five documentarians who wanted to make a documentary film at the Lae Soraya Forest in Sultan Daulat District, Subulussalam in Aceh province.

Also read: Indonesia to Apply No Exceptions in Eid al-Fitr Holiday Travel Ban

"The two foreigners are VBN, a 40-year-old German, and RG, a 38-year-old American. They came to make a documentary film about the environment," State News Agency Antara quoted Qori Wicaksono as saying on Sunday, May 9.

The group were traveling in two cars, along with three local crews and two drivers. Before coming to the Lae Soraya River area to film in the Mount Leuser National Park area, they also had a documentary shoot in Southeast Aceh.

At the security checkpoint, their logistic car carrying the equipment has also been checked by the officers. 

"We have also coordinated with the immigration office regarding the documents of the two foreigners. Their immigration documents are complete," said Qori.

Also readIndonesian Police Arrest 3 Men For Protesting Eid al-Fitr Travel Ban

The seven people were also tested negative for antigen swabs. However, Qori said, according to the Aceh Region VI Forest Management Unit (KPH) coordinator Irwandi, only the three local crews who have been authorized to carry out activities in Indonesia's forest in Subulussalam.

Meanwhile, the two foreigners were then ordered to return to Medan, North Sumatera because they did not have permission to do activities in the forest.

"We did not find any element of crime. They just did not report to KPH-VI regarding the presence of foreigners in the group. Therefore, the two foreigners were asked to leave Subulussalam," said Qori.

(Editor: Abba Gabrillin)


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