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
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
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
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