|Pacific Media Watch|
Security officers accused of manhandling reporters
Title -- 5355 TAHITI: Security officers accused of manhandling reporters
Date -- 6 March 2008
Byline -- None
Origin -- Pacific Media Watch
Source -- Oceania Flash/Pacific Magazine 5/03/08
Copyright - OF
Status -- Unabridged
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MEDIA ALLEGEDLY MANHANDLED IN FRENCH POLYNESIA
PAPE'ETE (Oceania Flash/Pacific Media Watch): The newly-appointed local representative of the Paris-based global media freedom defence organisation Reporters sans Frontières (Reporters without Borders, RSF), has officially protested to new President Gaston Flosse, making references to local reporters being manhandled by security officers during his recent election.
Oceania Flash reports that Mike Leyral, who recently became the first local RSF correspondent and works for government-owned Tahiti Nui Television (TNTV), said the incidents took place minutes after the election of Gaston Flosse as President of French Polynesia.
The vote took place on February 23 in the 57-member Legislative Assembly.
Leyral, in a letter sent to Flosse, said it was "regrettable" and "intolerable" that several reporters from the print, radio and television media, were manhandled by "security agents" as they were trying to do their job and obtain comments from this key French Pacific territory leader.
One female journalist from one of the two local dailies was "violently pushed against a wall" and a television journalist was also pushed in a similar way, the letter said, adding in the second case, the "agent" later chased the reporter and kicked him in the chest.
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