4 Apr 2007

Another Tongan journalist arrested for alleged sedition

7:04 pm on 4 April 2007

Another senior journalist at Tonga's Kele'a newspaper has been arrested on a sedition charge.

The arrest of Falisi Tupou follows the arrest, two weeks ago, of the pro-democracy newspaper's editor Tavake Fusimalohi who was charged with sedition and defamation

Earlier this year, the Kele'a office was forced to close on Sundays after the Defence Force said it was operating illegally and without a proper license during the State of Emergency.

Our correspondent Mateni Tapueluelu says the Kele'a office is no longer operating on Sundays but is being closely monitored by police who have arrested a number of the staff, including Mr Tupou, who was apprehended yesterday.

"And was detained by police for overnight over charges of sedition with regards to material that they've published against the government and against the King. All of them being arrested under the same article. One of the statements in the article says that the King is, in the Tongan words, utukovi which literally translates as bad brain. That has been viewed as being seditious."

Mateni Tapueluelu says