14 Jul 2016

Nauru government criticises media

2:07 pm on 14 July 2016

The Nauru government has again hit out at overseas media saying they are spreading lies about Nauru.

It also said they are promoting opposition MPs and refusing to report Nauru's progress of the past three years.

The Justice Minister David Adeang said the Australian and New Zealand media are attempting to destabilise the Nauru government and influence Nauru's politics.

It's the first response from Nauru since a former suspended opposition MP, Roland Kun, fled to Wellington on a New Zealand passport and gave spill-all interviews to local media.

Mr Adeang said the government's increased majority after the weekend's elections should send a message to media like the ABC, Fairfax, the Guardian and Radio New Zealand.

He said Nauru champions democracy and its courts are among the most independent and respected in the Pacific.

"These activist-journalists kept saying we were stifling democracy, yet Nauru has always championed democracy, and this election was held under the scrutiny of international observers," said Mr Adeang in a statement.

"They lied about us ignoring the rule of law, but have refused to report the fact that our courts - thanks to our reforms - are now among the most independent and respected in the Pacific.

"We understand that we receive more scrutiny because the agenda of these organisations is really against the Australian Government's offshore processing policy, but we are sick of the lies and the lack of respect of our sovereignty."

Nauru's Justice Minister David Adeang

Nauru's Justice Minister David Adeang Photo: Supplied

"They now must accept the will of the Nauruan people in a democratic vote, respect our country, our Government and the fact that we are a sovereign country not beholden to them, and start reporting the truth."

Overseas media reporting of Nauru has been severely restricted after the government brought in a non-refundable US$6000 application fee for a journalist's visa.

Most government comment is by way of formal media statements and news is disseminated to the population of about 12,000 by a state-owned and run broadcaster.