Tuesday, April 5, 2011

[pima.nius] Vanuatu: PFF welcomes rule of law in publisher assault

1:41 PM |

via PFF

Colleagues, the www.pacificfreedomforum.org link has been updated with
the following text and links. Thanks for publishing/sharing widely
with relevant networks.


PFF, Rarotonga, COOK ISLANDS-- As a government minister faces the
Magistrate's Court in Port Vila this Thursday linked to the March 4
assault of newspaper publisher Marc-Neil Jones, the Pacific Freedom
Forum has welcomed the observance of Vanuatu's rule of law.

The magistrates court hearing will decide whether charges against
Infrastructure and Public Utilities Minister Harry Iauko Iaris over
his alleged role in the widely reported and condemned assault last
month of Daily Post publisher Marc Neil-Jones, will proceed.

"The Vanuatu Police investigation into this matter has taken a month,
and the Pacific Freedom Forum welcomes today's hearing as a
significant sign of progress. We now await the matter's prompt passing
through the Vanuatu legal system," says PFF chair Susuve Laumaea of
Papua New Guinea.

"Observers internationally were concerned that the alleged assault of
Mr Neil-Jones would join other reported attacks on Pacific media and
journalists and disappear into a 'culture of impunity', with nobody
being charged and the matter disappearing, until the next time," says

"We now call on all observers to let the Vanuatu legal system deal
with this matter, and we also call on the media to report this
matter's passage through the courts with appropriate professionalism,"
Mr Laumaea said.

"Given the international attention and condemnation the alleged
assault attracted, no doubt this will be a test for the Vanuatu
authorities to demonstrate that nobody is above the law, and also is a
demonstration of how similar attacks on the media in other Pacific
countries should be handled," says PFF co-chair Monica Miller, of
American Samoa.

"We commend the perseverance, courage and professionalism of Neil
Jones and Daily Post Editor Royson Willie, as well as those officials
who upheld due process into the complaint." she says.


March 5 reports and coverage: http://pacific.scoop.co.nz/category/vanuatu/

Vanuatu govt on Radio Australia:

CONTACT: PFF interim Chair Susuve Laumaea | Sunday Chronicle Newspaper
| Papua New Guinea Mobile: 675-684 5168 | Office: 675-321-7040 |
Email: susuve.laumaea@interoil.com PFF interim co-Chair Monica Miller
| KHJ Radio | American Samoa Mob 684 258-4197 | Office 684 633-7793 |
Email: monica@khjradio.com The Pacific Freedom Forum are a regional
and global online network of Pacific media colleagues, with the
specific intent of raising awareness and advocacy of the right of
Pacific people to enjoy freedom of expression and be served by a free
and independent media. We believe in the critical and basic link
between these freedoms, and the vision of democratic and participatory
governance pledged by our leaders in their endorsement of the Pacific
Plan and other commitments to good governance. In support of the
above, our key focus is monitoring threats to media freedom and
bringing issues of concern to the attention of the wider regional and
international community.

Lisa Williams-Lahari
Media Freelancer
Regional Coordinator, IFJ Pacific Media for Democracy and Human Rights
Ph Mobile: 677-7574230
Skype: lisalahari

* "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that
matter."-- Martin Luther King Jr.  *


pacific islands media association
aotearoa, new zealand
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