20 May 2008

PINA condemns reported death threats on PNG journalist

9:15 pm on 20 May 2008

The Pacific Islands News Association president, Joseph Ealedona, has condemned the use of death threats against journalists.

This follows reports that a Papua New Guinea journalist reporting on the Taiwan/PNG diplomatic cash scandal has been the subject of death threats and has had to be moved to a safe location.

The Post Courier newspaper has blamed supporters of PNG's government for the threats.

Taiwan is investigating the disappearance of 30 million US dollars earmarked for PNG as a reward for Port Moresby establishing diplomatic ties with Taipei.

Several PNG government officials have been named as having met with the Taiwanese middlemen who are implicated in the deal.

Mr Ealedona, who is also the head of PNG's National Broadcasting Commission, says journalists expect to be in the firing line at times in their career.

"Journalists are only doing their job. If people out there know the truth, then tell the journalists. We're the mouthpiece for the people and it's not good for threats to be issued on journalists. The best thing that any person can do is tell us the truth."

PINA president Joseph Ealedona