6 Jun 2013

Media watchdog says Nauru must protect freedom of speech

6:41 pm on 6 June 2013

A Pacific media watchdog says the Nauru government must allow the Nauru Broadcasting Service to fully report politics leading up to Saturday's general elections.

The chair of the Pacific Freedom Forum, Titi Gabi, says an uninformed democracy is no kind of democracy at all.

She asks how are voters to make informed decisions on issues if they cannot access independent information to make their own judgment

Last week, the caretaker president Sprent Dabwido declared a state of emergency leading into the poll, including restrictions on media.

He says he is not stopping politicians being interviewed by the local government-owned media, but is stopping them getting an unfair advantage.

But a former finance minister, Roland Kun, says that is not the reality.

"The reality on ground is that media has not been able to interview anyone."

Roland Kun.

The Pacific Freedom Forum says the incoming government must put in place protections for freedom of speech, as guaranteed under the constitution, and by international agreement.