Kiribati Independent Shut Down Indefinitely
Tue, 26 Jun 2012 9:31a.m.
The Kiribati Independent newspaper has been closed indefinitely from today, the publishers and staff announced.
The Auckland-based Kiribati Independent website, which will continue normally, said in a statement on the fate of the Tarawa-based print edition:
“On June 18, police officers visited our office to investigate the complaints of the Ministry of Communications.
“Therefore it is appropriate that we allow the police to do their investigations so the Ministry of Communications can prove in a court of law that Kiribati Independent has [allegedly] breached the Newspaper Registration Act 1988.
“Kiribati Independent cannot operate under such difficult circumstances.
Finally, we wish to thank our loyal readers and businesses for their support. We trust that this issue would be resolved soon.”
Media freedom groups - including Reporters Without Borders, International Federation of Journalists, Pacific Media Watch, Pacific Media Centre and Pacific Freedom Forum - have appealed in recent weeks to the Communications Ministry to grant the newspaper a licence without political interference.
It is believed that the newspaper's sole distributor was intimidated by the police inquiries and staff have been subjected to threatening anonymous emails.
The newspaper's legal advice had been that the law was not broken.
The Kiribati Independent was the fourth newspaper in the country, published fortnightly and had a circulation of about 500. It was printed by the Catholic Church's Maria Printers.
Pacific Media Watch
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
After 10 months at sea, two double-hulled waka will return to New Zealand, having replicated the epic journey of early Polynesian navigators.
A 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck off Tonga today, US seismologists said, but no tsunami warning was issued.
Two comedians are doing their best to make light of a serious issue.
A recent study has found there are very few Maori or Pacific Islanders in sports governance and management roles.
As New Zealanders mark Anzac Day around the country, many Pacific Islanders will join the commemorations.
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.