Nauru government must respect freedom of the press

5 September 2018, 12:14 UTC | Asia and The Pacific

In response to 1 News Pacific Correspondent Barbara Dreaver being detained by police in Nauru today, Meg de Ronde, Campaigns Director for Amnesty International said,

"Whether it happens in Myanmar, Iran or right here in the Pacific, detaining journalists for doing their jobs is wrong. Freedom of the press is fundamental to a just society. Barbara Dreaver is a respected journalist with a long history of covering important stories across the Pacific. Amnesty International condemns her detention and is calling for her immediate release.

"What is Nauru afraid of? The Government there has on one hand attempted to maintain a wall of secrecy around the men, women and children being detained there for years, denying almost any journalist from visiting the island, while on the other hand, recently saying that the refugee processing centre is no longer necessary because the refugees are living harmoniously in the community with local Nauruans. This is patently absurd.

"Amnesty International's research on Nauru showed that the conditions for people who have been banished there by Australia amount to torture under international law. Children are self-harming and Googling how to kill themselves. That cannot be swept under the carpet and it won't go away by enforcing draconian limits to media freedom. 

"Barbara Dreaver must be released immediately and the Government of Nauru must respect freedom of the press."

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