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PINA urges rethink by Government of Vanuatu

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The President of the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA), Kora Nou said the regional media grouping is becoming increasingly concerned about the ongoing strained relations between the Government of Vanuatu and the Vanuatu Daily Post on the case of the daily newspaper’s Media Director, Dan McGarry.
“We have been monitoring this situation and urge the Government of Vanuatu to urgently rethink the stance it has on McGarry.
“PINA strongly believes what’s currently happening in our Melanesian country not only amounts to a direct threat to media freedom and freedom of expression there, it is also a direct threat to democracy and good governance.
“It’s in direct contravention of Article 19 of the UN on the right the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and Sustainable Development Goal 16.10.2 on ensuring public access to information and protection of fundamental freedom, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements,” Nou said.
His comments come after the latest incident when McGarry was prevented from boarding a flight from Brisbane to Vanuatu with his partner.
“Ironically, this also comes soon after a two-day Melanesia Media Freedom Forum that McGarry and I attended in Brisbane last week, alongside senior media personality Sean Dorney and other senior Melanesia and regional media representatives.
“The Vanuatu issue has therefore attracted wider condemnation from our regional and international media organisations,” he said.
The PINA President said both the government and media have their rightful places in a democratic society and hopes the Vanuatu Government will do the right thing by its people by reversing its earlier decision.
“We understand Vanuatu Daily Post has appealed the work permit cancellation and will await the outcome of this before considering our next course of action,”Nou said.
He said PINA was equally concerned that the issue has now also temporarily separated McGarry from his partner and two daughters. SOURCE: PINA SECRETARIAT/PACNEWS