IFJ Condemns Assault of Journalist in PNG

 

The

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its associate the Pacific

Freedom Forum in condemning the brutal attack by a unit of Papua New Guinea’s uniformed

police officers on local journalist Mark Kayok on the evening of Saturday April

21, in the country’s capital, Port Moresby. 

 

Kayok, a crime

reporter with Papua New Guinea’s National Broadcasting Corporation, reportedly

sustained a broken nose and other injuries in the attack. He is currently at

home recovering.

 

Kayok had

been on assignment on Saturday evening before meeting up with a friend – an

off-duty but uniformed police officer.

 

While returning

home, the pair were followed by a mobile Police Unit who stopped them at a

service station in Six Mile and began assaulting the Police officer.

 

When

Kayok tried to stop the attack, the assailants asked him to identify himself. Upon

identifying himself as an NBC journalist, Kayok was also attacked by the group

of police officers, who told him that the media were not reporting positively

on them.

 

It is

alleged that Kayok and his friend were kicked, punched and hit with the butt of

a rifle. In addition, both men had their mobile phones taken and destroyed by

the assailants.

 

The

assaults come in the wake of ongoing tensions within Police ranks in Port

Moresby, after reports of fighting between factions of Highlands and Port

Moresby National Capital District police officers in the last week.

 

“The IFJ

joins the PFF in calling on PNG’s law enforcement agencies to fully investigate

these alleged assaults,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

 

“The

assault of journalists in retribution of perceived negative reporting is a

clear violation of media rights. The press should be able to report freely on

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

 

For

further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 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