The Nauru government has branded a United Nations official a left-wing hypocrite, claiming he was wrong to criticise its new criminal amendments.
Two weeks ago, the UN's Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, called for Nauru to drop the amendments because they unduly restricted freedom of expression.
Don Wiseman has more:
He also urged the Nauru government to revoke other measures, including bans on the internet and other limits on media freedom. He says the amendment is ambiguous and imposes harsh penalties for a wide range of legitimate expression. But Nauru's justice minister, David Adeang, says the UN Rapporteur and other critics should get their facts right. He says they are guilty of using Nauru as a 'punching bag' without knowing the true story. He says freedom of expression is enshrined in the country's constitution. However, Nauru has told the administrators of Facebook that a ban on its site will remain in place for some months, ostensibly to stop pornography but opponents say it is about stifling criticism of the government's actions. The government has also limited foreign media scrutiny by charging $US7,000 dollars for a non-refundable visa application fee.