Responding to the news that Nauru’s government has banned journalists from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) from attending the Pacific Islands Forum in September, Minar Pimple Amnesty International’s Senior Director of Global Operations said:
“This brazen move is a clear attempt at suppressing critical coverage of Nauru’s government and its inhumane treatment of refugees.
“The country’s current arrangements with Australia on refugee policy are a matter of journalistic and public interest. Going to these lengths to keep certain media out of the country is both an arbitrary, unacceptable restriction of press freedom and a telling sign of the government’s determination to keep the appalling situation of refugees in Nauru out of the news.
“Hosting a pan-regional event like the Pacific Islands Forum comes with the responsibility of opening yourself up to the region’s media. The Nauru government must not dictate who should and shouldn’t be attending, nor should it be issuing guidance on what journalists can and cannot report.”