VANUATU JOURNALISTS PROTEST OFFICIALS’ THREATS

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Call on government to take action

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Aug. 11, 2011) – The Vanuatu Media Association has called on government leaders to stop threatening journalists.

The association president, Evelyne Toa, says a recent attempt by the minister of Ni-Vanuatu business, Pastor Don Ken, to stop the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation running a story was unacceptable.

Pastor Ken had been arrested for public drunkenness on the eve of the country’s independence celebrations at the end of last month.

He has since been jailed for that offence, but before it went to court he tried to have the story censored, saying it could damage his reputation.

In March the Minister of Public Utilities and Infrastructure was involved in the assault on the publisher of the Vanuatu Daily Post.

Harry Iauko was later fined for aiding and abetting the assault on Marc Neil Jones.

Evelyne Toa says the continuous threats against media made by politicians are a clear violation of the rights of journalists to report on the way leaders behave.

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