6 Sep 2004

Cooks police remove cartoons in Atiu

3:34 pm on 6 September 2004

Police in the Cook Islands have been instructed to remove photocopies of newspaper cartoons from a public noticeboard in the constituency of Atiu.

Orders for their removal follow a complaint to police from one of the island's members of parliament, Norman George, who is running again in the elections.

A former mayor of Atiu, Roger Malcolm -- a New Zealander resident in Atiu for more than 20 years -- says the police action is heavy handed and says it interferes with their freedom of speech.

He says it is ridiculous for authorities to try and censor cartoons that have already been published long ago and which were not subject to legal action at the time of publication.