29 Oct 2008

Calls for Samoa gun smuggling commission of inquiry to lift restrictions

9:35 pm on 29 October 2008

A regional media group, the Pacific Freedom Forum, has called on the Samoa Commission of Inquiry probing allegations of gun smuggling to lift restrictions that it has imposed on media coverage of the inquiry.

The group, which includes working journalists, trainers, students of journalism and advocates of media freedom, has commended the Commission of Inquiry for opening up hearings and proceedings to the media.

However, it says but says allowing access alone doesn't ensure information from the hearing is passed on to those who need to receive it, which is the people of Samoa.

The group's co-chair, Monica Miller, says under the commission's rules the media will be present but cannot report on what it sees and hears, which she says amounts to gagging.

The commission opened its enquiry earlier this month into how guns were transported from American Samoa to Samoa in May.