The Canberra Press Gallery has announced its members will boycott the Pacific Islands Forum in solidarity with banned ABC journalists. Political editor Dr Martin Hirst says this is an historic decision by the Gallery.
The Republic of Nauru — pretty much all of it (Image by Tatters via Flickr)
THE CANBERRA PRESS GALLERY has announced its members will boycott the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in September in an act of solidarity with ABC journalists refused a visa by the Nauruan Government.
I’m very pleased about this. You could say it’s something for Gallery members to be proud of, but my only fear is that news organisations will find a work-around to make sure some reporters can break the black ban.
It’s not a surprise that the pro-Nauru, pro-gulag Newscorp papers have announced they will be sending a team.
In a strong statement, Press Gallery President, <a
A further statement from the Press Gallery on the Nauru ban on the ABC.
If the ABC is banned, the pool should not go. pic.twitter.com/gRLQloweE4
— David Crowe (@CroweDM) July 4, 2018
The Nauru Government’s decision to block an ABC journalist from joining a media pool to cover the Pacific Islands’ Forum has been widely condemned by media rights organisations and by the journalists’ union, the MEAA. But it seems that, for some, it is difficult to condemn something that they secretly condone and would love to do themselves. It seems that, for some political leaders, free speech is great — but not for the ABC and not in Nauru Yes, I’m talking about the Prime Minister. All that Malcolm Turnbull could muster is that the decision is “regrettable”, but that it “must be respected”. In other words, I love freedom of the press, but not for the ABC and not in relation to Nauru.
.@TurnbullMalcolm: It’ll be regrettable not having media at the Pacific Islands Forum, but we must respect Nauru’s sovereignty to determine who comes into their country. We support press freedom, but it is a matter for Nauru.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) July 3, 2018
If you watch the clip you can see that Turnbull is very uncomfortable with the words coming out of his mouth. His vocal cues show that he is insincere and suggest that he’s really delighted with the actions of the Nauru Government.
Clearly, you know, we…
It’ll be regrettable if the ABC is not there. We’d love to have you there with us…
But we have to remember and respect Nauru’s sovereignty.
It is up to Nauru who cones into their country just as it is up to our Government – my Government – as to who comes into Australia.
And that’s the nub of it really. Turnbull is powerless to say or do anything against Nauru because his Government is totally dependent on the Pacific island nation as an offshore gulag in which to imprison women, children, and men who are refugees and who – according to international law and human rights convention – should be allowed to enter Australia.
Of course, we all know that Australia’s inhumane and potentially illegal incarceration of legitimate asylum-seekers is at the heart of the Nauru Government’s visceral hatred of the ABC.
Unlike the compliant Murdoch hacks who’ve been given access to Australia’s prison camps on Nauru, the ABC has covered the refugee issue and other human rights abuses by the Nauru Government accurately.
Which, of course, leads to the Nauruan accusations of “fake news” against the ABC.
Free press, but not you, or you, or you Read the rest of this entry »