There has been much wringing of hands over Nauru’s ban on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for next month’s Pacific Islands Forum leaders’ summit. But, reports Sri Krishnamurthi of Asia Pacific Journalism, even more perplexing is Canberra’s relative silence.
The elephant in the room about the Australian Broadcasting Corporation ban that has people tip-toeing through the frangipani and whispering in hushed tones is the Canberra’s asylum seeker detention centre in the small Pacific state of Nauru.
Nauru is the host of the Pacific Islands Forum leaders’ summit on September 3-6 and the ban on the ABC has been widely condemned by media freedom groups, including the Pacific Media Centre.
The Nauru detention centre has become a significant part of Nauru’s economy since 2001, and in the wake of the strip mining of phosphate (guano) which left it bereft of resources and finances.
“Nauru’s Australian-managed detention camp is a disgrace, just as the one on Manus island was (now closed). It shows the profound hypocrisy of both Australian and Nauruan authorities,” says Daniel Bastard, head of the Asia-Pacific Desk for Reporters with Borders (RSF).
“Canberra outsources its absurd anti-immigration policy and washes its dirty hands in paying huge amounts of money to Yaren which, in exchange, accepts to carry on human rights violations.
“For sure, Nauruan authorities don’t want journalists to investigate this issue, to report on the living or surviving conditions of the refugees and to interview the numerous men, women and children arbitrarily detained in the camp,” he told Asia Pacific Report.
“And the Australian government doesn’t want this hypocrisy to be exposed either, since Canberra is responsible for this matter.”
The eight APJS student reports - more later:
Nauru media ban on ABC targets Australian detention centre gag
Torokina - a cryptocurrency with a dream to 'rescue' Papua New Guinea
New Caledonian independence 'in their hearts', but also a 'scary' future
Controversial 'Confucius' doco gets mixed response at NZ universities
'Don't play with fire' warning in Samoa's social media threat
PNG Facebook ban threat casts shadow over Pacific media freedom
PNG facelifts for APEC but neglects gender-based violence
NZ Pacific journalists 'appalled' by Nauru ban on ABC at Forum
Pacific media have permission to republish these articles under a Creative Commons licence providing the student author's byline is retained and a credit is given to the Pacific Media Centre's Asia Pacific Journalism course. Further information.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3