15 May 2015

US calls on Nauru to lift Facebook ban

7:58 pm on 15 May 2015

The United States says it is concerned by the internet restrictions that have been imposed by the government of Nauru.

The government last week banned Facebook in the country, which the President, Baron Waqa, claimed was to protect citizens from pornography and abuse.

But the move has been heavily criticised by opponents as an attempt to suffocate free speech.

A US State Department spokesperson, Jeff Rathke, told a briefing in Washington that ensuring citizens had access to unrestricted and open internet is essential to a healthy democracy.

"We're aware of that and we're concerned by reports of recent internet restrictions imposed by the government of Nauru including that they blocked Facebook and other social media sites and we've certainly conveyed our views to the government there and reiterated our calls for the restrictions to be lifted."

A US State Department spokesperson, Jeff Rathke.