World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Media Challenge Opens In Tonga Court

Media Challenge Opens In Tonga Court

AUCKLAND (Taimi 'o Tonga/Pacific Media Watch): A judicial review challenging the amendment to Clause 7 of the Tongan Constitution last year started in the Supreme Court in Nuku'alofa, Tonga, today.

Clause 7 established new restrictions on media publications in the kingdom, drawing widespread protest amid claims that it curtailed freedom of speech.

A total of 173 plaintiffs, including individual citizens, businesses, MPs and a news organization, filed for a judicial review, claiming that the amendment of Clause 7 and the introduction of restrictive media laws by government was unconstitutional.

The hearing was presided over by Justice McElrea. The counsel for the plaintiffs was human rights lawyer Dr Rodney Harrison, from New Zealand, and representing the Crown were Paul Radich and ŒAminiasi Kefu.

The first witnesses called by the plaintiff¹s counsel were Pesi Fonua, chairman of the Media Council Inc. of Tonga and publisher of Matangi Tonga, and Mateni Tapueluelu, editor of the Taimi 'o Tonga newspaper.

The hearing is scheduled for five days.



PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media based in Sydney, Journalism Studies at the University of PNG (UPNG), the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ), Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and Community Communications Online (c2o).

(c)1996-2004 Copyright - All rights reserved.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>


Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC