6 Jun 2018

Claims that new Nauru laws made to shut opposition voices

2:57 pm on 6 June 2018

A former Nauruan president says Nauru's new contempt of court laws are tailor made to shut up opposition voices in the country ahead of a major gathering of Pacific leaders.

The Administration of Justice Act, brought in last month, criminalises almost any criticism of a case, but exempts Members of Parliament.

Sprent Dabwido is one of the so-called "Nauru 19", who faces jail for protesting against government crackdowns on opposition MPs.

Former Nauru president Sprent Dabwido

Former Nauru president Sprent Dabwido Photo: supplied

He said the law was brought in in time for the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting in September.

"The forum's coming up. We cannot talk about anything about the case or with the Forum Leaders," Mr Dabwido said.

"We cannot put up papers about it.

"We cannot do anything so it is aimed at us to keep us quiet," he said.

The Nauru government has not responded to a request for comment.