29 Mar 2005

Samoa Observer editor to call on government to pressure Tonga over journalist ban

4:05 am on 29 March 2005

The editor-in-chief of the Samoa Observer, Savea Sano Malifa, says they will call on the Samoan government to pressure Tonga to respect media freedom if it doesn't lift a ban on journalist, Mike Field.

Tonga's government has banned the New Zealand journalist from attending the Pacific Islands News Association convention in Nuku'alofa in October.

The first time Field was banned from Tonga, when PINA was to meet there in 1996, the Journalists Association of Samoa, which was to send some 16 journalists, boycotted the convention.

Savea says the Samoa Observer does not honour or respect any country that does not respect media freedom and human rights.

He says that if the ban is not lifted by October, the Samoa Observer will respectfully call on the Samoan Government to insist that all its journalists and media personalities boycott PINA's convention.