Friday, October 12, 2018

Paga Hill iconic human rights documentary banned from PNG festival

Activist lawyer Joe Moses as he appears in a Frontline Insight item about the Paga Hill struggle for justice
in Papua New Guinea. Video: Reuters Foundation
By Pacific Media Watch

An internationally acclaimed investigative documentary about Paga Hill community’s fight for justice from the illegal eviction and demolition of their homes in Papua New Guinea’s capital of Port Moresby has been banned from screening today at the PNG Human Rights Festival.

“The ban highlights the lingering limits on free speech in our country and the continued attempts to censor our story of resistance against gross human rights violations,” claimed Paga Hill community leader and lawyer Joe Moses, the main character in The Opposition film who had to seek exile in the United Kingdom after fighting for his community’s rights.

“This censorship comes as a deep disappointment for my community who have suffered greatly over the past six years.”

The Opposition tells the David-and-Goliath battles of a community evicted, displaced, abandoned – their homes completely demolished at the hands of two Australian-run companies, Curtain Brothers and Paga Hill Development Company, and the PNG state.

What was once home to 3000 people of up to four generations, Paga Hill is now part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit “AELM Precinct” which will take place this November.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

John Pilger: 'Hold the front page. The reporters are missing'

John Pilger ... how "fearful 'democracies' regress behind a media facade of narcissistic spectacle".
Image: Media Lens

By John Pilger
Foreword to Propaganda Blitz published today.*

The death of Robert Parry earlier this year felt like a farewell to the age of the reporter. Parry was "a trailblazer for independent journalism", wrote Seymour Hersh, with whom he shared much in common.

Hersh revealed the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and the secret bombing of Cambodia, Parry exposed Iran-Contra, a drugs and gun-running conspiracy that led to the White House. In 2016, they separately produced compelling evidence that the Assad government in Syria had not used chemical weapons. They were not forgiven.

Driven from the "mainstream", Hersh must publish his work outside the United States. Parry set up his own independent news website Consortium News, where, in a final piece following a stroke, he referred to journalism's veneration of "approved opinions" while "unapproved evidence is brushed aside or disparaged regardless of its quality."

Although journalism was always a loose extension of establishment power, something has changed in recent years. Dissent tolerated when I joined a national newspaper in Britain in the 1960s has regressed to a metaphoric underground as liberal capitalism moves towards a form of corporate dictatorship. This is a seismic shift, with journalists policing the new "groupthink", as Parry called it, dispensing its myths and distractions, pursuing its enemies.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Nuclear free and independent Pacific - how the zone began 33 years ago and what now?

 

From Pacific Media Watch


RADIO 531pi Breakfast Talanoa host Ma'a Brian Sagala has talked about the Rarotonga Treaty with Café Pacific publisher David Robie.
It was hugely significant for the Pacific. It was sort of like a threshold for the Pacific really standing up to the big powers and predated New Zealand’s nuclear-free law.
It was a huge step forward. It was not only a declaration against France, which was detonating nuclear weapons at the time, but also against the US and Britain that had also conducted many nuclear tests in the Pacific.
The South Pacific Nuclear Free Pacific Zone Treaty 33 years ago ushered in a radical era for the Pacific, which predated NZ’s own nuclear-free law.

The Treaty of Rarotonga formalise the Pacific nuclear-free zone on 6 August 1985 and New Zealand's own New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament and Arms Control Act followed two years later on 8 June 1987.

David also talks about the Rainbow Warrior’s humanitarian voyage to Rongelap to help the islanders move to another home across the Pacific Ocean. He is the author of the book Eyes of Fire about nuclear testing in the Pacific.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

‘Blacklisted’ Australian researcher detained in Indonesian airport

Researcher Belinda Lopez ... detained by Indonesian authorities in Bali's Denpasar airport.
Image: Belinda Lopez/FB
From Pacific Media Watch

AN Australian-based doctoral media researcher says she has been “blacklisted” by Indonesian authorities and refused entry to the country while embarking on a holiday in Bali.

Belinda Lopez, based at Sydney’s Macquarie University and who has researched human rights and other issues in Indonesia, says she is being detained in a room at Denpasar’s Ngurah Rai International Airport and she will have been held for 24 hours before being deported on a flight at 10pm tonight.

READ MORE: Australian student barred from Indonesia

A former journalist, she is doing a doctorate in Indonesian studies.

She was travelling to Bali, Jakarta and the Baliem cultural festival in Papua.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Contrasting accounts of Indonesian genocide and betrayal in West Papua


A local chief in red sunglasses and bra talks to his people about the dangers
of Indonesian administration plans for Okika region. Image: Peter Bang

BOOK REVIEW: By David Robie

TWO damning and contrasting books about Indonesian colonialism in the Pacific, both by activist participants in Europe and New Zealand, have recently been published. Overall, they are excellent exposes of the harsh repression of the Melanesian people of West Papua and a world that has largely closed a blind eye to to human rights violations.

In Papua Blood, Danish photographer Peter Bang provides a deeply personal account of his more than three decades of experience in West Papua that is a testament to the resilience and patience of the people in the face of “slow genocide” with an estimated 500,000 Papuans dying over the past half century.

With See No Evil, Maire Leadbeater, peace movement advocate and spokesperson of West Papua Action Auckland, offers a meticulously researched historical account of New Zealand’s originally supportive stance for the independence aspirations of the Papuan people while still a Dutch colony and then its unprincipled slide into betrayal amid Cold War realpolitik.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Nauru, Fiji and Pacific Facebook gags criticised in Asia-Pacific media freedom summit


Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire talks about the global threat against journalists.
Video:
Café Pacific

By David Robie in Paris
WHEN Reporters Without Borders chief Christophe Deloire introduced the Paris-based global media watchdog’s Asia-Pacific press freedom defenders to his overview last week, it was grim listening.

First up in RSF’s catalogue of crimes and threats against the global media was Czech President Miloš Zeman’s macabre press conference stunt late last year.

However, Zeman’s sick joke angered the media when he brandished a dummy Kalashnikov AK47 with the words “for journalists” carved into the wood stock at the October press conference in Prague and with a bottle of alcohol attached instead of an ammunition clip.

RSF’s Christophe Deloire talks of the Czech President’s anti-journalists gun “joke”.
Image: David Robie/PMC
Zeman has never been cosy with journalists but this gun stunt and a recent threat about “liquidating” journalists (another joke?) rank him alongside US President Donald Trump and the Philippines leader, Rodrigo Duterte, for their alleged hate speech against the media.

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