IFJ Condemns Intimidation of Journalists in Eastern PNG

 

The International Federation of Journalists

(IFJ) joins its partner the Pacific Freedom Forum (PFF) in condemning the threats

and intimidation directed towards newsroom staff at the East Sepik office of Papua

New Guinea’s National Broadcaster, NBC.

 

According to a PFF report, on Wednesday July

4, NBC staff were confronted by an angry mob led by East Sepik Governor and

Member for Yangoru/Saussia, Peter Wararau Waranaka. The Governor, his driver

and a group of supporters converged on the NBC East Sepik broadcast compound,

where they singled out, abused and threatened radio Journalist Greogry Pegines,

station manager Anna Klawe and other news journalists . 

 

The incident came a day after Pegines filed a

report about a petition that had been signed by 12 candidates in the East Sepik

province, listing allegations of fiscal and official abuse of position.

 

Pegines says he had been invited to meet with

the Governor since the incident, but was again verbally abused.

 

“Intimidation and threats against journalists

are incompatible with democracy and a free press”, IFJ Asia-Pacific said.

 

“We urge anyone with a grievance against the

media to raise their concerns in a productive non-violent manner. Good quality

journalism is not achieved by threatening the safety of those delivering the

news”.

 

Intimidation and threats against media

workers, particularly in provincial areas, have been previously identified as a

key obstacle to improved journalism in PNG by the country’s new Media Workers

Association. Multiple incidents of media intimidation have been reported in the lead up to the national

elections.

IFJ has identified journalists’ safety as one of the top obstacles to press freedom globally.

 

For

further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0950

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

 

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the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

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