21 Dec 2017

Media freedom at risk in Samoa

From , 6:05 am on 21 December 2017

A newspaper editor in Samoa says the government has introduced legislation that could be abused to curtail media freedom in the country.

Samoa's parliament has unanimously voted to reinstate a criminal libel law previously repealed by the ruling Human Rights Protection Party four years ago.

The bill was tabled and in less than an hour passed into law.

The prime minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi says the law aims to deal with social media bloggers who write defamatory remarks while the justice minister Fa'aolesa Katopau Ainu'u says the objective is to protect the innocent.

But as the Samoa Observer's editor Mata'afa Keni Lesa tells Dominic Godfrey, the net result could be a lot more sinister.

Two computers

Photo: AFP