Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Vanuatu: PFF welcomes rule of law in publisher assault

PFF, Rarotonga, COOK ISLANDS-- As a government minister faces the Magistrate's Court in Port Vila this Thursday linked to the March 4 assault of newspaper publisher Marc-Neil Jones, the Pacific Freedom Forum has welcomed the observance of Vanuatu's rule of law.

The magistrates court hearing will decide whether charges against Infrastructure and Public Utilities Minister Harry Iauko Iaris over his alleged role in the widely reported and condemned assault last month of Daily Post publisher Marc Neil-Jones, will proceed.

"The Vanuatu Police investigation into this matter has taken a month, and the Pacific Freedom Forum welcomes today's hearing as a significant sign of progress. We now await the matter's prompt passing through the Vanuatu legal system," says PFF chair Susuve Laumaea of Papua New Guinea.

"Observers internationally were concerned that the alleged assault of Mr Neil-Jones would join other reported attacks on Pacific media and journalists and disappear into a 'culture of impunity', with nobody being charged and the matter disappearing, until the next time," says Laumaea.

"We now call on all observers to let the Vanuatu legal system deal with this matter, and we also call on the media to report this matter's passage through the courts with appropriate professionalism," Mr Laumaea said.

"Given the international attention and condemnation the alleged assault attracted, no doubt this will be a test for the Vanuatu authorities to demonstrate that nobody is above the law, and also is a demonstration of how similar attacks on the media in other Pacific countries should be handled," says PFF co-chair Monica Miller, of American Samoa.

"We commend the perseverance, courage and professionalism of Neil Jones and Daily Post Editor Royson Willie, as well as those officials who upheld due process into the complaint." she says.


March 5 reports and coverage: http://pacific.scoop.co.nz/category/vanuatu/

Vanuatu govt on Radio Australia: http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/pacbeat/stories/201104/s3183115.html

CONTACT: PFF interim Chair Susuve Laumaea | Sunday Chronicle Newspaper | Papua New Guinea Mobile: 675-684 5168 | Office: 675-321-7040 | Email: susuve.laumaea@interoil.com PFF interim co-Chair Monica Miller | KHJ Radio | American Samoa Mob 684 258-4197 | Office 684 633-7793 | Email: monica@khjradio.com The Pacific Freedom Forum are a regional and global online network of Pacific media colleagues, with the specific intent of raising awareness and advocacy of the right of Pacific people to enjoy freedom of expression and be served by a free and independent media. We believe in the critical and basic link between these freedoms, and the vision of democratic and participatory governance pledged by our leaders in their endorsement of the Pacific Plan and other commitments to good governance. In support of the above, our key focus is monitoring threats to media freedom and bringing issues of concern to the attention of the wider regional and international community.

1 comment:

  1. This is a bad situation you have no privacy anymore without someone knowing what you have and who gave it to you here is more info on this take a look http://freedomist.com/2011/04/05/freedom-faces-a-progressive-assault/


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