1 May 2015

Nauru government denies Facebook shut down

3:07 pm on 1 May 2015

The Nauru government says is has not blocked access to Facebook on the island and claims to the contrary are politically motivated.

In a statement the Nauru government says it is possible some social media sites have been blocked since it issued a ban on pornography sites yesterday.

But it has dismissed claims that it is blocking sites for other reasons.

Earlier today opposition MPs said the government had forced the country's only internet provider to shut down access to Facebook.

The opposition said it was no surprise given the government's inability to cope with any form of media criticism.

One of five opposition MPs who have been suspended since May last year, Mathew Batsiua, said it was the final stage in Justice Minister David Adeang's obsessive desire to rule by a mix of dictatorship and fear.

Nauru opposition MP Mathew Batsiua.

Nauru opposition MP Mathew Batsiua Photo: Supplied

He said yesterday's claim by Mr Adeang that he was simply stopping access to pornography sites was just an excuse.

"They foreshadowed that they were concerned with the criticisms of their actions by Nauruans on Facebook and they foreshadowed this by a statement by the President [Baron Waqa] in Parliament a few weeks back, and now they have acted upon it," he said.

"Now they have censored citizens from accessing Facebook."

Mr Batsiua said the Facebook ban meant the island now had no independent media, after an earlier directive from Mr Adeang for local media not to interview any members of the opposition or any person who disagreed with government policy.

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