14 May 2015

Nauru opposition MP says new laws about stifling criticism

7:03 pm on 14 May 2015
Nauru opposition MP Mathew Batsiua.

Nauru opposition MP Mathew Batsiua. Photo: Supplied

A suspended Nauru opposition MP says changes to the criminal code rushed through parliament this week are simply to serve the government's political agenda.

The Nauru government has placed severe restrictions on freedom of speech, claiming it is to end harassment, emotional stress or threats to public order.

But the former justice minister Mathew Batsiua says that, as with last week's Facebook shutdown, it is about stifling criticism.

And he says he is appalled the government does not realise that public scrutiny comes with the job.

"But you have to accept, once you are in public office then you are fair game and you are not able to win every person over and that is just a fact. And it is unbelievable that they would try to put in laws that will curtail criticism because as far as I am concerned the game or the business of politics, criticisms, scrutiny, debate is all part of it."

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