21 Nov 2017

Samoa libel law proposal worries journalists

11:54 am on 21 November 2017
Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi conducting his weekly radio address.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has proposed reintroducing libel laws in Samoa. Photo: RNZI/Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

The journalists' association in Samoa says it's seriously concerned about a government proposal to resurrect libel laws that were repealed in 2013.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said last month he had asked the attorney general to look at reintroducing the law, saying it was a Christian move to protect victims who were being defamed.

The statement followed a number of incidents of people being slandered and attacked on social media.

The acting president of the Journalists Association of Samoa, Rudy Bartley, told the Samoa Observer he shared concerns about the misuse of social media.

However, he said he believed the government should find a more realistic solution for tracking down so-called ghost writers instead of tarnishing the work and integrity of the media.