28 May 2002

PINA concerned about media harassment by Solomons police

7:39 am on 28 May 2002

The Pacific Islands News Association, PINA, has expressed concern at the harassment and intimidation of the Solomon Islands media by members of the law enforcement agencies.

Police field force officers have damaged equipment at the Solomons national broadcaster in Honiara and harassed other media in town in an apparent attempt to stop the reporting about aspects of the gun amnesty.

Some police reportedly refused to surrender the weapons which they hold illegally during a parade last week when police bosses instructed the force to comply.

Speaking from Tonga, the PINA president, Johnson Honimae, who is the manager of Solomons radio, says he will seek a meeting with the police commissioner once he gets back to Honiara.

"if incidents involved some members of the Royal Solomon's Police force. I'm really concerned about what is happening. Everybody understands that the media should be left alone to do its work"

It is not known if police have taken any action against those officers who trashed the national broadcaster's premises.

It has been described as the worst incident of its kind in the country.