17 Apr 2007

Editor of Tonga paper claims it is being targetted for criticising government

8:00 pm on 17 April 2007

The editor of Tonga's Kele'a newspaper says the publication is being targetted because it is critical of the government.

Tavake Fusimalohi and another senior journalist on his paper are among the three leading pro-democracy journalists who have been arrested and charged with sedition since the Nuku 'Alofa riots last November.

His comments follow those by the editor of the Taimi o Tonga newspaper, Kalafi Moala, denying that news media in Tonga are being persecuted because of their political stance.

But Mr Fusimalohi, whose staff were stopped earlier this year by police from working on a Sunday without a permit, feels there is a crack-down on pro-democracy media.

"That we were being targetted because since the events of 16/11, we are still the only outspoken paper against government. And we are quite critical of government and its policies. The other media organisations are not doing the same thing that we are doing."

Tavake Fusimalohi