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PNG: Journalist Arrested for Betelnut Joke About Police

PNG: Journalist Arrested for Betelnut Joke About Police

Papua New Guinea's popular betelnut ...
topic of a police "bribery" joke. Image: PMC archive

Monday, August 11, 2014

PORT MORESBY (Pacific Media Watch / PNG Loop): A Port Moresby broadcast journalist has been arrested and charged with "broadcasting misleading information".

The 30-year-old Western Highlands journalist, who has not been named, will appear in court this week.

He reportedly made a joke on air "about how motorists can bribe police with betelnut and coke", the PNG Loop news websitereported.

NCD Metropolitan police commander Andy Bawa told the news website that "media personalities should refrain from making unsubstantiated comments or jokes that could be detrimental to regional and national operations".

Bawa said he would also tell media houses to "be more strict about their on-air content".

PNG Loop said the radio presenter had said there was no major report about the joint Australian Federal Police and Royal PNG Constabulary police operations.

The 30 year old from the Western Highlands went on air last week stating that there was no major report about the joint Australian Federal Police and Royal PNG Constabulary police operations. - See more at: http://www.pngloop.com/2014/08/11/ncd-police-arrest-radio-announcer/#sthash.D3A0mg2q.dpuf

The PNG police have previously intimidated and even assaulted journalists. In 2012, a journalist was assaulted and threatened with being blown up with a hand grenade by police in Port Moresby after his newspaper, the Post-Courier, published a story about gun-wielding policemen who chased landowners on its front page.

And earlier this year, EMTV journalists Quinton Alomp and Gesoko Adrian were manhandled and punched while reporting on allegations that police had stabbed five civilians during a land dispute.

After manhandling the journalists, the police locked them up, tore out their notes and demanded that they delete all photos. The journalists were only released after their driver phoned TV station management who then demanded that the police release them.

ENDS

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