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Date Posted: 18:23:13 01/24/04 Sat
Author: John M Miller
Subject: German journalist arrested for visa violations in war-torn Aceh

Associated Press
January 24, 2004

German journalist arrested for visa violations in war-torn Aceh

BANDA ACEH, Aceh (AP): A German freelance journalist was arrested for
illegally entering and reporting in war-torn Aceh province, a military
spokesman said
Saturday.

Cradow Cascha, 35 - who claimed he was working for the International Press
Association - was detained late Friday while traveling on a public minivan in
Central Aceh, said Lt. Col. Asep Sapari.

"He sneaked into Aceh province," Sapari said. "We suspect he did not have the
proper visa and permit to report in Aceh."

Cascha was being held in Gayo Luwes military post, he added.

The German Embassy in Jakarta and the International Press Association could
not be contacted for comment.

Authorities have severely curtailed reporters' freedom of movement in Aceh
since Jakarta declared martial law and launched a major military operation
last
May to crush the insurgency after failed peace talks with the rebels.

Foreign reporters now face a virtual ban from Aceh and require hard-to-get
permits after media reports accused the military of abuses. Reporters must
also
enter Aceh via specific ports which have immigration officials.

Sapari said that Cascha had traveled overland from neighboring North Sumatra
province.

An American freelance journalist, William Nessen, was arrested on June 24 and
jailed for 40 days for violating his visa by traveling with the separatist
rebels for three weeks. He was later deported.

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