PNG's Somare 'Glad' Aussie Journalist Detained

Published: Thu 4 Nov 2004 09:22 AM
Somare 'Glad' Aussie Journalist Detained
MELBOURNE (RA/PIR/Pacific Media Watch): Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare has reportedly defended the recent detention of an Australian journalist who was working on a story about the country¹s logging industry.
Last week, SBS Dateline television reporter, Bronwyn Adcock, had her passport confiscated by PNG authorities after she travelled to the country to film segments for a story about the logging industry, which is to air in Australia.
According to Agence France-Presse, Somare had been asked about the incident during a meeting in parliament.
"In this country, we have allowed so many of those so-called journalists, television crews to come in and butt into the country without asking permission, and go and interview people who cause problems with this country," he responded.
"I am very happy, I am very glad that they were stopped from photographing or doing anything in this country, thank you very much."
According to AFP, police questioned Adcock briefly after she had travelled to Western Province to investigate alleged corruption in the PNG logging industry.
Officials confiscated her passport when she went to the airport later on Friday. After two days of negotiations involving SBS and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, Adcock's passport was returned on Sunday and she left the country.
"We have allowed so many of these so-called journalists into the country to go around making trouble," Somare reportedly said.
PNG's forestry industry has been accused of allowing illegal logging to continue despite serious environmental consequences.
The chairman of PNG's Eco-Forestry Forum, Kenn Mondiai, said PNG's forests were being destroyed and many logging companies were operating illegally.

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