17 Mar 2016

Vanuatu urged to stop attacks on free speech

2:44 pm on 17 March 2016

A Pacific press freedom watchdog is urging police in Vanuatu to crack down on attacks on free speech in the country.

The Chairperson of the Pacific Freedom Forum Titi Gabi made the call after a woman was abducted, assaulted and verbally abused for expressing her views in a public forum on Facebook.

In the post, Florence Lengkon criticised the arrogant and unprofessional behaviour of public transport providers who have been squabbling over fares for tourists arriving on cruise ships in Port Vila.

The vice president of the Port Vila Cruise Tourism Committee John Tonner said the incident had been widely condemned.

"A lot of land transport operators immediately assisted the police in their investigations and apprehensions that have been made," he said.

"The deputy prime minister released a very firm statement in the Daily Post recently just clearly stating that this is not acceptable and it won't be tolerated and the full force of the law will be used to prosecute those involved."