Lincoln journalist jailed for filming documentary in Indonesia without correct visa

Two British journalists, including one from near Lincoln, have been sentenced to short jail terms after being found guilty of violating Indonesia’s immigration laws.

As previously reported, Neil Bonner, 32, from North Hykeham has been held for five months with London filmmaker Rebecca Prosser, 31, following their arrest for allegedly trying to make a piracy documentary without the correct visa on May 28.

The judge on the island of Batam, where the two were arrested and detained, handed down a sentence of two months and 15 days in prison, saying the defendants had admitted their guilt and apologised.

Bonner and Prosser were also fined 25 million rupiah each, which equates to about £1,600.

Due to the time already served in custody by the pair, they could be free to leave Indonesia within two days.

However, the prosecutors, who pressed for a harsher sentence and greater fine, may appeal the verdict which would delay the defendants’ return home.

The two were filming a documentary about piracy with the help of several locals for production house Wall to Wall with funding from National Geographic, according to their indictment.

Following the verdict, Bonner told the AFP that “this is journalism on trial, and we’ve been found guilty”.

“I don’t think journalism is a crime,” he added.