International Press Institute congratulates Samoa Observer

Editor-in-Chief of the Samoa Observer, Gatoaitele Savea Sano Malifa. Picture: SAMOA OBSERVER

APIA, 27 AUGUST 2018 (SAMOA OBSERVER) – The International Press Institute has hailed World Press Freedom hero and Samoa Observer Editor-in-Chief Gatoaitele Savea Sano Malifa and his commitment to press freedom.

The message was relayed by the Deputy Director of the International Press Institute (IPI), Scott Griffen, when he spoke during the celebration of the Samoa Observer’s 40th Anniversary in Apia on Friday night.

“The fight for press freedom remains an uphill one; but with institutions like the Samoa Observer on our side, it is one that we can win,” Griffen said.

“On behalf of IPI, I would like to congratulate the Samoa Observer on its 40th anniversary and thank Savea Mailfa and his team for their unwavering support for press freedom and quality journalism in Samoa, in the South Pacific and around the globe. We look forward to many, many more years of this newspaper’s strong, independent voice, and I can assure you that IPI will be there to support it. Thank you and fa’afetai.”

Griffen also used the opportunity to urge the Government to reconsider their decision to revive the Criminal Libel Law. He said journalists should never face the risk of being jailed for doing their job.

Repealing Criminal Libel certainly isn’t a cure – all for press freedom – but we do believe it is an important step,” said Griffen.

“Therefore, we as IPI urge you, Prime Minister, to reconsider your Government’s re-introduction of Criminal libel. Although we are absolutely sensitive to the challenges associated with social media and digital communication, we believe there are better alternatives, and our experience over decades and across continents has shown us that the risk to press freedom is simply too great. Journalists should never face the threat of jail for doing their jobs.”

Griffen was one of three speakers during the Samoa Observer’s birthday. The other two are Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi and Editor-in-Chief, Gatoaitele Savea Sano Malifa.

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