Journalist Threatened with Grenade in Papua New Guinea

 

The International Federation of Journalists Asia-Pacific (IFJ) joins the

Pacific Freedom Forum (PFF) in condemning the grenade threat made by a

police officer against a local journalist in Papua

New Guinea’s capital city, Port Moresby, late last week.

 

It is alleged that business editor for the Post Courier Business, Patrick Talu, was shown a hand grenade by a

policeman, also armed with an M16 rifle, and ordered to leave Port Moresby’s

Unagi Oval or be “blown up”.

 

Talu was apparently at the Oval covering a meeting between landowners

and government officials regarding a proposed controversial gas pipeline

project. 

 

The Government of Papua New Guinea has yet to issue an official statement

on the incident, and sources indicate that there has been no action taken to

discipline the police officer making the threat.

 

"The IFJ joins the PFF in calling for a

full investigation into recent allegations of intimidation and of journalists

in Papua New Guinea,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director

Jacqueline Park said.

 

"We are concerned that the safety situation for local journalists in

Papua New Guinea

is deteriorating, as police and government officials are increasingly resorting

to intimidation and threats to influence the media’s reporting of the news.

 

Such action is a breach of media rights, and inconsistent with fair and

democratic governance. The press should be able to report freely on events in

the public interest, without fear for their personal safety.”

 

The IFJ has reported a

number of recent threats to press freedom in Papua New Guinea, including an incident where soldiers at the Murray

Barracks in the country’s capital of Port Moresby threatened to shoot PNGFM reporter Tauna George and the

recent announcement of a new 'monitoring'

committee, tasked with identifying those expressing views it considers

'subversive’.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0950

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

 

Find the

IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

Find the

IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific