LAE – A drunken pack attack on a journalist by six men including a senior adviser to the Morobe governor has drawn widespread condemnation throughout Papua New Guinea.
On Thursday the Post-Courier’s Lae-based journalist Frankiy Kapin (pictured) was assaulted by officers of Governor Ginson Saonu, who accused him of writing “negative reports”.
One of the men was the governor’s chief of staff, Steven Boting.
Boting and five other assailants punched Kapin, who was on assignment, multiple times. They also issued threats against other journalists in Lae.
Four men including Boting have been arrested and charged with assault and drunk and disorderly behaviour. They are in police custody and will appear in court today.
The Media Council of Papua New Guinea said the root of this latest attack on journalists was “primitive, close-minded thinking and a general lack of understanding of the role of the media.
“For the officers of a provincial governor to intimidate and assault a single Papua New Guinean journalist on unfounded allegations of bias is a shame to the public office to which they report,” the statement said.
The Council called on Governor Saonu to provide an immediate apology and an assurance that such incidents will not be repeated.
The Council also asked police in Lae to ensure justice is swiftly served.
Sources: Media Council and EMTV