24 Oct 2011

Complaint in Britain over Pacific cannibalism claim

6:15 am on 24 October 2011

The NGO Survival International has lodged a formal complaint with Britain's Press Complaints Commission over media reports that a German tourist was eaten by cannibals in French Polynesia.

Stefan Ramin's remains have been found in ashes on Nuku Hiva, nearly a week after he had gone missing.

Survival International's Director Stephen Corry says pretending that the reported murder has anything to do with tribal cannibalism is absolute hogwash.

Survival says newspapers that have described the indigenous people of the Pacific as cannibals are promoting a false and offensive notion that tribal people are primitive savages.

Mr Corry says it may sell newspapers, but is a highly irresponsible slur on the peoples of the Marquesas Islands.

The claim was reported mainly in Europe but also in New Zealand.