By Sarah E. Treptow
Impunity Watch Reporter, Oceania
APIA, Samoa – The Journalists Associations of Western Samoa (JAWS) has expressed concerns over attacks and threats on media personnel outside of the Court. According to the group a camera man and a news reporter were attacked and two reporters were threatened. JAWS claimed that more journalists continue to be threatened during major trials, though the statement did not give the details of who was attacked or why.
JAWS strongly condemned the violence in their statement. They said they “wish to reiterate that we will not tolerate the harassment of local journalists in the pursuit of truth.” The group continued, “Journalists play an important role in any society; the media is the fourth estate of democracy and it is essentially the eyes and ears of society.” “By hindering the work of Journalists members of the public are inadvertently infringing upon the people’s right to know and be informed.”
“JAWS reiterates that media freedom is integral to democracy.”
For more information, please see:
Samoa Observer – Journalists harassed, JAWS claim – 28 March 2009
Islands Business – Journalists harassed in Samoa, JAWS claim – 30 March 2009