NAURU (RNZ Pacific/Pacific Media Watch/Pacific Media Watch): New Zealand journalist Barbara Dreaver has been released after being detained in Nauru today while covering the Pacific Islands Forum summit, reports TVNZ.
RNZ’s reporter on Nauru said it was understood Dreaver was taken to the police station on the island after trying to interview a refugee outside of the camp.
She said they asked for her visa, told her she was breaching her conditions and stripped her of her accreditation for the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) leaders summit being held on the island.
World Vision New Zealand said it helped Dreaver connect with refugees on Nauru and it was contacted by its liaison person this afternoon.
A spokesperson said Dreaver’s interview had been stopped by the Nauru police, and she was taken by them.
The Nauru government has limited the movements of journalists covering the summit and placed restrictions on who they can talk to.
An official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade was with Dreaver during the ordeal.
PM pleased over release
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was pleased that Dreaver was released.
Ardern leaves for Nauru early tomorrow morning, and says once she gets there she will seek more advice about the situation.
She said the New Zealand government believed in freedom of the press throughout the world, and that includes the entire Pacific region.
The Nauru government had limited the journalists covering the summit and placed restrictions on those who got approval to go, limiting who they could talk to and what issues they could discuss.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) was also banned from covering the Forum summit after the Nauruan government accused the public broadcaster of “continued biased and false reporting” about the country.
This article is republished under the Pacific Media Centre’s content partnership with Radio New Zealand.
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