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

 


PFF - Veto the New Media Law in Timor

Rarotonga Cook Islands Wednesday 1 June 2014—

Veto the New Media Law in Timor

The new media law in Timor-Leste should be vetoed by the country’s President, agrees the Pacific Freedom Forum.

PFF is backing the veto call from La'o Hamutuk, the Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis, an independent development watchdog, joined by the Pacific Media Centre, other NGOs and journalists.

“Timor-Leste has had a free media for the last decade, as noted by La'o Hamutuk, for the first time in 500 years of colonialism,” says PFF Chair Titi Gabi.

That new law risks returning the young country to colonial style repression, she warns.

“Freedom for East Timor was won with the blood of countless thousands, including constitutional freedoms of speech,” says PFF Chair Titi Gabi.

“This new law disrespects their sacrifice, and threatens the future stability and prosperity of East Timor.”

Government drafted the laws last year based on media regulations in Indonesia and Portugal, and passed them last month.

“It is disturbing that the government East Timor is considering using laws similar to its former colonial masters to impose oppressive restrictions on its own citizens,” says Gabi.

Speaking from Port Moresby, she called on the government to submit its media law to independent review.

“It is not too late for government to delay implementation of the law and seek full and proper consultation with those affected.

“Credibility of the current East Timor administration depends on it seeking and implementing feedback on this new law.”

She praised the courage and leadership against the law from journalism pioneer José Belo, who has repeatedly stated that he will not register under the new laws, and would rather go to jail.

PFF co-Chair Monica Miller said that comments from an official at a World Press Freedom Day event last month were a disturbing indication of government’s intentions under the new law.

At a seminar at the University of Timor-Leste, the head of a parliamentary committee, Carmelita Moniz, said that any evidence of corruption should be sent directly to authorities and not published first in the media.

“This suggests that the government fails to see conflicts of interest resulting from suppressing information that concerns itself,” she says.

BACKGROUND
The new law has been described in media reports as among the world’s most repressive.

The laws include a restrictive definition of a journalist that would exclude freelance journalists, independent journalists and student journalists.

Only individuals employed by a recognised media outlet and who must have served at least six months as an intern in a media organisation will be allowed to work as a journalist.

It bars journalists from working for political parties, NGOs or government departments from being registered and accredited as journalists.

It also requires foreign journalists to get a special permit before reporting from Timor-Leste and restricts foreign ownership of any form of media to 30 percent.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Peace Deal ‘first Step’ In Resolving South Sudan Crisis

Children at a protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, run by the UN Mission, perform at a special cultural event in March 2015. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine More>>

Yemen: Killing Or Maiming An Average Of Eight Children A Day

Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF More>>

Changing Habits/behaviours Key To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO More>>

Burundi: Ban Condemns Assassination Of Senior Army Officer

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination Burundi’s former Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who ... More>>

Deadly Industrial Explosions In Northern China

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China. More>>

UN Urges Action To Tackle Deepening Refugee Crisis In Greece

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell More>>

Probe Into Those Responsible For Chemical Weapons In Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation More>>

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news