Indonesia deports Australian journalist for reporting on death-row case on a tourist visa

Supporters of Australian drug traffickers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran visiting Kerobokan prison in Bali on Feb 22, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP
Supporters of Australian drug traffickers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran visiting Kerobokan prison in Bali on Feb 22, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (AFP) - An Australian journalist has been deported from Indonesia for reporting without a proper visa as she covered two Australian drug traffickers on death row, an immigration official said on Saturday.

Ms Candace Sutton, a reporter for the Daily Mail, was taken in for questioning by immigration officials on Wednesday as she interviewed a relative of one of the Australian convicts in the coastal town of Cilacap.

The town is close to a prison island where the traffickers Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan are to be put to death by firing squad, in a ruling that has drawn fierce protest from Canberra. "We have deported last night the journalist back to Australia with Qantas," immigration official Yan Wely Wiguna told AFP.

The Immigration Department said earlier that Ms Sutton "failed to show a journalist visa" and had violated immigration laws by working on a tourist visa that she bought on arrival in Indonesia.

The Australians are among a group of foreigners, which also includes a Frenchman and a Brazilian, who Indonesia has said will be executed soon.

No date has been set for the executions.

Canberra has made repeated pleas for their citizens to be spared but Jakarta has insisted it will push ahead with the executions.

The looming executions have drawn global media attention, and hordes of journalists have descended on Cilacap.