The International Federation of Journalists
(IFJ) joins its partner the Pacific Freedom Forum (PFF) in condemning threats
and intimidation directed towards a film crew working in Papua New Guinea (PNG)’s
capital, Port Moresby, on Sunday June
According to the PFF,
EMTV Journalist Mick Kavera and camera operator Gesoko Adrian were threatened
with physical violence and forced to delete their footage by members of a
government-appointed investigative task force.
The two were on assignment at Port Moresby’s Jackson
Airport Terminal to film the arrival of alleged illegal immigrants being
accompanied by members of the government-appointed investigative task force.
According to Kavera, task force members witnessed them filming during the
mid-morning arrival and approached them, berating themfor media
"misreporting" of their activities and telling them to await a formal
statement. Adrian was also told to delete all the footage he had taken that day
or the camera would be broken and he would be assaulted.
Sometime after Adrian had deleted the
footage, the task force members apparently apologised for their earlier orders,
and invited the EMTV crew to resume filming and complete their assignment.
“Threats against journalists in retribution for 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”, said the IFJ Asia-Pacific.
“The IFJ joins the PFF in demanding quick and
effective action to investigate this latest case of media intimidation, and urges PNG's government and media organisations to work together to ensure journalists are not exposed to threats to their safety in the course of their work”.
Intimidation and threats against media
workers have been previously identified as a key obstacle to improved journalism
in PNG by the country’s new PNG Media Workers Association. The issue was also highlighted
in the PNG country chapter in the IFJ
Asia Pacific Inaugural Pacific Press Freedom report.
IFJ has identified journalists’ safety as one of the top obstacles to press freedom globally.
further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0950
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