Pacific Media Watch

20 June 2012

KIRIBATI: Police investigate Kiribati Independent

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TARAWA (Kiribati Independent / Pacific Media Watch): Police have questioned a Kiribati businessman who sells and distributes the Kiribati Independent newspaper.

Police told Borerei Uriam, 63, who sells the newspaper in Tarawa that they were acting on the complaints of the Ministry of Communications.

In his statement, Uriam told police that he is assisting the publisher, Taberannang Korauaba, sell his newspapers at shop outlets in Tarawa and Betio.

"I did not gain anything from that. I just want to help Mr Korauaba to succeed with his vision of owning a newspaper," he told police.

Police asked Uriam: "Do you think Mr Korauaba publish[es] his newspaper so he can achieve higher qualifications in journalism? And what sort of qualification?"

"A professor," Uriam replied.

Banuera Berina, a lawyer acting on behalf of the Kiribati Independent, has maintained that the newspaper would continue to be sold despite the police investigations.

The Ministry of Communications has ordered the closure of the newspaper but the Kiribati Independent continues to publish on the advice of its lawyer.

"The newspaper is not in breach of the Newspaper Registration Act," said Berina.

Statement by Reporters Without Borders in support of the Kiribati Independent


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Pacific Media Watch

PMC's media monitoring service

Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators. (cc) Creative Commons