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Pacific island refusing all foreign media visa requests

first_img Asia – Pacific Receive email alerts RSF_en Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders condemns the Pacific island of Nauru’s decision to impose a media embargo amid growing controversy about alleged human rights abuses in the Australian government refugee detention centre on the island. Nauru’s authorities must allow journalists to investigate the allegations. October 22, 2015 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Pacific island refusing all foreign media visa requests In rural India, journalists face choice between covering pandemic and survival News Organisation Follow the news on Asia – Pacific News to go further Mongolia : RSF urges presidential candidates to voice support for press freedom News News June 10, 2021 Find out more June 7, 2021 Find out more Asia – Pacific The island’s authorities have not only turned a blind eye to allegations of rape and other abuses in the detention centre, which they host on behalf of the Australian government, but they have also decided to block all media coverage of the alleged abuses.In an email to Al Jazeera’s Sydney bureau on 9 October, the Nauru government said not only that it was refusing the Qatari TV broadcaster’s visa request but also that visa requests from all news media would be refused.“We urge Nauru’s government to lift the embargo that it has imposed on the foreign media,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk.“Amid allegations of sexual assault and other forms of mistreatment in the Australian government-funded detention centre, media investigation of these allegations is essential. It is unacceptable that Australia, after moving asylum processing offshore at great expense, should also delegate censorship and discriminatory decisions against the media.”As there are no independent media on Nauru, a small and remote island in the Central Pacific, it is vital that international media should be able to report on what is happening inside the detention centre, the constitutionality of which is currently being examine by the High Court of Australia.This blackout is not Nauru’s first violation of freedom of information. In January 2014, the island’s government hiked the cost of journalism visa applications from 200 to 8,000 Australian dollars (5,000 euros) – an increase of nearly 4,000 percent.Although Australia has a good ranking in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index – 25th out of 180 countries – Reporters Without Borders has often criticized its policy of blocking access to information about its treatment of asylum-seekers.The Border Force Act that took effect on 30 June provides for sentences of up to two years in prison for employees of the refugee detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island who leak information about the conditions and treatment of the refugees. June 2, 2021 Find out morelast_img

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