Wednesday, 1 June 2011

PFF welcomes progress on Vanuatu publisher assault

Rarotonga, COOK ISLANDS--Regional media monitoring network the Pacific Freedom Forum, PFF, has welcomed progress in Vanuatu over the March 4 assault of Daily Post publisher Marc Neil-Jones.

"News of a June 10 hearing date for the charges against the cabinet minister and eight other accomplices is progress, albeit incremental," says PFF Chair Susuve Laumaea of Papua New Guinea.

"Any assault complaint should expect a timely and clear process for action from investigating Police officers. Two months after he was beaten, Marc Neil Jones is still waiting for justice to take its
course and the allegations made against those involved, including Vanuatu Minister Harry Iauko, should be dealt with as soon as possible."

The Daily Post reported a new date of June 10 had been set for hearing the charges against Iauko and eight others connected to the assault of Daily Post publisher Marc Neil-Jones on March 4. Iauko hasn't appeared in court yet to enter a plea after the magistrates court had to postpone Friday's planned hearing because of an extraordinary sitting of Parliament.

The charges reportedly cover unlawful assembly, unlawful entry, intentional assault and threatening gestures, with it likely there may be amendments to that list. If the criminal case against Iauko succeeds, he may also face charges under Vanuatu's Leadership Code Act which calls for national leaders to observe the law, and follow fundamental principles of leadership contained in Article 66 of the Constitution.

"It's in everyone's interests, including the Vanuatu government, to ensure the hearings proceed so that people can have access to the facts of what took place, according to Vanuatu's own rule of law,"
says PFF co-chair Monica Miller of American Samoa, "We are not suggesting that special treatment be given to fast-track this case, but simply that it be heard in keeping with Vanuatu's own laws
covering all citizens whatever their ethnicity or job title."--ENDS


 Pacific media watch article--

IFJ, PFF condemn attack on publisher:

  PFF interim Chair Susuve Laumaea | Sunday Chronicle Newspaper | Papua New Guinea Mobile: 675-684 5168 | Office: 675-321-7040 | Email: PFF interim co-Chair Monica Miller | KHJ Radio | American Samoa Mob 684 258-4197 | Office 684 633-7793 | Email: 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment

comments welcome below: