Nauru government revokes NZ journalist media accreditation

TVNZ journalist Barbara Dreaver released after being detained in Nauru. Picture: newstalkzb

WELLINGTON, 05 SEPTEMBER 2018 (NAURU GOVT) – New Zealand journalist Barbara Dreaver on Tuesday had her Pacific Islands Forum media accreditation revoked by the Government of Nauru for breaching the terms of her visa.

“She was not “detained” by police as some reports have stated, but voluntarily accompanied them while they made further enquiries. She still has her visa and is still able to report from Nauru. We thank her for her cooperation.

“No journalist on Nauru has been prevented from talking to any person, including refugees. However in order to protect the safety and security of all, journalists were required to follow procedures, which included going through the proper channels in order to visit or go close to the refugee residential settlements, and conduct stories outside of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF,” a government statement said.

Other journalists did this, and the government has assisted them to visit the refugee residential communities, schools, hospitals and access other parts of the island. No restrictions were put on these journalists regarding who they could talk to or what questions they could ask.

“However this journalist did not follow procedures, and this potentially risked the safety and security of herself and others. We note that only one New Zealand journalist has requested access to areas on the island and we are currently doing our best to facilitate this.

“We urge all journalists on Nauru to abide by their visa requirements. We expect that some will attempt to portray this as Nauru preventing press freedom, however this is not correct. Media from across the world are in Nauru and none have been restricted. Police and security agencies are genuinely concerned about safety and security risks should media take it upon themselves to enter refugee residential settlements where emotions are high. We have only asked for cooperation from media in order to preserve public safety, and this is not unreasonable.

“Nauru as a sovereign country has the right to protect its citizens and residents, and we do not apologise for this,” said the statement.

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