8 Mar 2011

PINA speaks out over assault on Vanuatu publisher

4:14 pm on 8 March 2011

The Pacific Islands News Association, PINA, has called on everyone in Vanuatu, including leaders, to use the law rather than resort to physical violence to solve problems.

This follows an assault on the Vanuatu Daily Post publisher, Mark Neil-Jones, allegedly orchestrated by public works minister, Harry Iauko.

PINA's president, Moses Stevens, says it's the second time Mr Neil-Jones has been attacked, and he says it brings the safety and security of journalists into question.

He says that the attack allegedly involved a member of cabinet is nothing short of a disgrace for the government and particularly the prime minister, Sato Kilman, who is the minister responsible for the media.

"We want the prime minister to uphold the spirit of democracy, to deal with his minister appropriately, in order to uphold democracy with regards to media freedom."

Moses Stevens says it's alleged the attack on Mr Neil-Jones was the result of biased reporting and he has called for journalists to ensure balance in their stories.