A 2012 file photo shows asylum seekers protesting at the Nauru detention centre. Now they have lost access to Facebook as well. Photo / Clint Deidenang
For immediate release:
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Tue, 5th May 2015
The ban on Facebook in Nauru should be lifted immediately, says the Pacific Freedom Forum.
“Banning social networks presents a dangerous threat to human rights,” says PFF Chair Titi Gabi.
“As a centre for processing refugees, the government of Nauru should ensure it protects human rights while benefiting from Australian aid dollars,” she says.
Access to Facebook on Nauru was cut after the government faced growing criticism about human rights abuses at its refugee camps, including child abuse.
An independent review found cases of rape, assault and drugs for favours at the detention centre.
The ban also follows government censorship of state media and a new $8,000 fee for foreign media to enter the country, according to opposition critics.
Government said it asked the country’s only internet provider, Digicel, to cut access to some sites, without mentioning Facebook, claiming there was a problem with child porn.
Facebook is heavily monitored for pornography.
PFF Co Chair Monica Miller says the ban shows how desperate the government must be.
“The ban is a direct attack on freedoms of speech,” says Miller.
“Instead of answering critics, the government has chosen to cut off access to one of the region’s most popular social networks.
“Instead of a ban, the governments of Nauru and Australia should be looking at getting assistance to resolve this issue from neutral bodies, such as the United Nations.”
The ban has attracted wide coverage globally.
Nauru block on Facebook stirs protest
Nauru Facebook ban came 'at request of Australian Government', refugee advocates say
Advocate says Nauru Facebook ban stifling
Facebook blocked on Nauru due to 'paranoia' about media scrutiny, says former president
Nauru's ban on Facebook angers opposition and refugee advocates
Facebook banned as 'dictatorial' Pacific island nation of Nauru cracks down on porn
Asylum seekers distressed as Facebook blocked in Nauru
Nauru bans Facebook in 'outrageous' move
Nauru cancelled visa of Digicel's general manager before blocking Facebook
Background: Rapes, sexual assault, drugs for favours in Australia's detention centre on Nauru: independent Moss review
PFF Chair Titi Gabi | GM PNG Loop | Papua New Guinea Mail: PO Box 7776, Boroko, NCD, Papua New Guinea | Mob: (675) 7314 3929 | Email: email@example.com
PFF co-Chair Monica Miller | KHJ Radio | American Samoa Mob (684) 258-4197 | Office (684) 633-7793 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PFF Editor Jason Brown | Aotearoa New Zealand | Mob: +(64) 224340831 | Email email@example.com
The Pacific Freedom Forum are a regional and global online network of Pacific media colleagues, with the specific intent of raising awareness and advocacy of the right of Pacific people to enjoy freedom of expression and be served by a free and independent media. We believe in the critical and basic link between these freedoms, and the vision of democratic and participatory governance pledged by our leaders in their endorsement of the Pacific Plan and other commitments to good governance. In support of the above, our key focus is monitoring threats to media freedom and bringing issues of concern to the attention of the wider regional and international community.
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