IFJ condemns assault by officials on Post-Courier journalist
PNG: IFJ condemns assault by officials on Post-Courier journalist
Monday, February 19, 2018
PORT MORESBY (International Federation of Journalists/Pacific Media Watch): The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the Papua New Guinea Media Workers’ Association (PNGMWA) in strongly condemning the recent attack on a journalist by officers of the Governor of Morobe in Papua New Guinea.
The IFJ and PNGMWA demand an immediate investigation into the attack.
Franky Kapin, a journalist with the PNG Post-Courier, was assaulted by the officers after they made allegations that his reporting was biased. News of the assault only came to light after the PNG Media Council released a statement condemning the attack, following Kapin making a report to police.
The PNG Media Council said: “The media does not take sides. Its role is to report on and inform its audiences, who are the people of PNG, on the performances of its elected leaders… Intimidation of media practitioners is draconian behavior, and something neither accepted, nor condoned by the industry.”
The PNGMWA said: “PNGMWA is very angry and we call on the Governor of Morobe to immediately sack the person(s) responsible. Journalists play a vital role in ensuring news and events are reported for public consumption.
"This role is protected by the Constitution, so as the public’s right to information. We must work with the relevant authorities, including the police to put a stop to this kind of behaviour. To this end, we demand that the police arrest and charge the person(s) responsible.”
The IFJ said: “We stand with our colleagues in PNG in demanding immediate action to bring those responsible to justice. Journalists should be able to work freely without fear. When the media is intimidated, it only serves to weaken press freedom and the ability of the media to report freely and independently.”