JAWS condemns the Minister of Communication’s actions


Press Release

The Journalist Association of (W) Samoa condemns the action of the Minister for Communication Information and Technology (MCIT) Toelupe Poumulinuku Onesemo against one of her members who was only doing her job as a journalist.

The Minister’s action which comes down to nothing more but unprofessional has shown his true opinion of the Fourth Estate’s role in a democratic country by belittling the profession.

The extreme action he took in threatening the journalist, belittling the newspaper she represents and pressuring her to name her source of information is beyond belief. What is even more shocking is the fact that he is the Minister responsible for the media.

Did he think being the Minister for Communication would spare him from the might of the pen?”

Did he think being a Minister gave him authority to detain the journalist for 2 hours?

If there are issues with the journalist or story, there is a proper channel he should follow, but to call his wife as reinforcement and both threatened legal actions against the journalist shows the abuse of power of a public officer.

He needs to apologise for his actions.

JAWS commends Salai Sarafina Sanerivi of Samoa Observer for her courage and for standing by her ethics.