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


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