10 Mar 2006

Some limitations on free speech in Kiribati, reports US

8:05 am on 10 March 2006

The United States says Kiribati generally respects freedom of speech, but with some limitations.

The US State Department report on human rights, as they are treated by governments around the world, cites concerns about Kiribati.

The document notes the Kiribati information minister and the attorney general publicly admonished the state broadcaster for airing stories critical of the government, including accusations of corruption.

The attorney general stated that the law that created the government's Broadcasting and Publications Authority did not provide for the right of its journalists to carry out investigative reporting.

The US State Department notes that in December a journalist for Radio Kiribati was dismissed after refusing to reveal his sources for a report about a case of alleged corruption involving the auditor general.