8 May 2006

French high commissioner in New Caledonia urged to assure safety of journalists

8:12 am on 8 May 2006

The media freedom group, Reporters Without Borders, has urged the French high commissioner in New Caledonia, Michel Mathieu, to assure the safety of the journalists at the local public broadcaster, RFO.

This comes amid a protracted strike by a minority of RFO employees who intermittently blockade the station's premises or disturb work just before programmes are to go to air.

Last week, RFO staff held a demonstration outside the high commission in protest at the disturbances.

Members of the Kanak USTKE union have been on strike since late March in a bid to reverse the sacking of a Kanak technician found guilty of assault during a 100-day strike at RFO in 2004.

RFO management has ruled out revisiting its decision to sack the technician.