14 Oct 2004

Media association welcomes Tonga court ruling

7:11 am on 14 October 2004

The Pacific Islands News Association has hailed the ruling by Tonga's Chief Justice against recent restrictions on the media.

The association's president Faumuina Lance Polu says the ruling is a victory for freedom of the press in the Kingdom.

Faumuina affirms that a basic human right such as freedom of expression and freedom itself can't be legislated against, in a free society.

He also says the ruling clears the way for newspapers and periodicals that have been banned by these laws to be distributed again in the kingdom - to give the public more access to information and to comment freely.

However, Faumuina highlights Justice Webster's caution in his ruling that newspapers are not allowed by this decision to publish whatever that they want.

He says freedom of the media under the constitution is not limitless.