26 Jun 2012

NGO says Kiribati government needs to explain newspaper closure

12:58 pm on 26 June 2012

The Pacific co-ordinator of the NGO International Federation of Journalists says the Kiribati government owes the public an explanation for why a local newspaper is still not registered despite meeting all the requirements more than six months ago.

The Kiribati Independent stopped printing on Friday to allow police to investigate complaints by the Ministry of Communications that it had breached a newspaper registration law.

Lisa Williams Lahari says the public is being robbed of an independent source of news and deserves answers on why there are delays in the paper being registered.

"There just hasn't been the answers that one would expect, especially for the publisher of the Kiribati Independent, having lodged the registration, the paperwork, the legal documents last year, more than six months ago. He's now in limbo."

Lisa Williams Lahari says the government has failed to honour a commitment to free and independent media.