18 Sep 2015

Nauru govt steps up attacks on media

7:46 pm on 18 September 2015

The Nauru Government continues to attack the media in Australia and New Zealand over its coverage of the island nation.

Recent public statements by Nauru's government say misreporting over rule of law in Nauru contributed to the decision by the New Zealand government to stop aid to the justice sector.

Two weeks ago New Zealand suspended aid to the justice sector amid concerns about civil rights abuses.

The President Baron Waqa claims the rule of law on Nauru is being strongly upheld.

Nauru President Baron Waqa.

Nauru President Baron Waqa. Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta

He claims the media are repeating lies told by the island's former chief justice and resident magistrate.

New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully says after a discussion with Justice Minister David Adeang in Port Moresby last week both governments understand each other but are no closer to resolving the issues between them.

Nauru has effectively excluded foreign media from the island by imposing a non-refundable US$7,000 fee for journalists' visas


Nauru's government questioned why media outlets refuse to report the facts, but asserts it "does not discuss internal matters of justice with foreign media".

It has made a number of attacks on its official Twitter feed, including this morning's broadside at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation over its coverage of Nauru's deportation of a Chinese resident without charge.

This week the government sent Radio New Zealand International a release, calling on media to report facts.

The Waqa government claims that much of the Australian and New Zealand media misrepresent what is happening in Nauru because it "suits their political agenda more to paint a negative picture and ignore the facts".