British journalists jailed over wrong visa while making piracy film leave Indonesia: Lawyer

British journalists Neil Bonner, 32, (Left) and Rebecca Prosser, 31, hug each other during their trial at a court in Batam.
British journalists Neil Bonner, 32, (Left) and Rebecca Prosser, 31, hug each other during their trial at a court in Batam.PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (AFP) - Two British journalists jailed in Indonesia for working without the correct visas have flown home, their lawyer said on Wednesday (Nov 11).

Neil Bonner, 32, and Rebecca Prosser, 31, received two-and-a-half month prison sentences for misusing their tourist visas to make a documentary about piracy near the western island of Batam.

Foreign journalists wanting to report in Indonesia must get a special visa.

The pair, who had been detained since May - nearly four months longer than their sentence - left Indonesia on Tuesday evening.

"They left at midnight on an Emirates flight to London, transiting through Dubai," their lawyer Aristo Pangaribuan told AFP.

The indictment said the British pair came to Indonesia to make a film with funding from National Geographic and had hired Indonesians to act out a scene of a tanker being boarded by a group of pirates off Batam.

Those detained in the past for illegal reporting have been deported immediately or given short prison terms.

Two French journalists were given jail terms of two and a half months last year after being caught in Indonesia's Papua province trying to make a documentary about the separatist movement while on tourist visas.