1 Nov 2019

Detained crew of Australia's '60 Minutes' leaves Kiribati

7:15 am on 1 November 2019

An Australian television crew has left Kiribati after being held for two days in a hotel.

Bonriki-Buota bridge between islets over lagoon, South Tarawa, Kiribati, Micronesia, Oceania, South Pacific Ocean.

Kiribati. Photo: 123RF

The crew, from the Channel Nine programme 60 Minutes, was placed under house arrest at a Tarawa hotel, after the government said it did not have an appropriate permit to film in the country.

The Kiribati government said the crew gave false and misleading information on its entry form.

Channel Nine said the crew believed it could apply for a permit on arriving in Kiribati, and put the incident down to a "likely misunderstanding".

Meanwhile, the media rights watchdog the Pacific Freedom Forum has called for Kiribati to relax its stance and provide more open access for the media.

However, it said journalists could also do better.