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Nauru Bans Agence France-Presse Correspondent

AUCKLAND, Aug 6 (AFP) - Agence France-Presse's South Pacific correspondent, Michael Field, was Monday banned from covering the 16-nation Pacific Forum summit in Nauru later this month.

No reason was given for the ban, however Field has extensively covered Nauru's involvement in tax haven banking and its links to the Russian Mafia.

Nauru is on a watchlist issued by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development-Financial Action Task Force. It has been threatened with economic and banking sanctions later this year unless it reforms is tax haven laws.

As the country's only carrier, Air Nauru, has been grounded Field was to have flown in with New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark.

However the Secretary for Foreign Affairs in Nauru, Angie Itsimaea, advised by fax that Field had no media accredition.

"I wish to advise that permission for you to enter Nauru was not granted," the letter said.

"Hence, your application for media accredition to cover the forum which is being held in Nauru would now not be possible."

Last year Kiribati, which hosted the forum, banned Field from that gathering citing his coverage of rubbish and environmental decay on the main island of Tarawa and his coverage of the presence of a Chinese satellite spy base.

+++niuswire

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH ONLINE: http://www.pmw.c2o.org


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