Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) in a letter to Peter O’Neill, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea (PNG) has expressed concern over the attack on PNG journalist Ms. Dorothy Mark and online abuse of Samoan journalist Ms. Lani Wendt Young.
PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali in his letter, condemned the attack on PNG journalist Ms. Mark and abuse of Samoan journalist Ms. Wendt. PPF also urged the government of Papua New Guinea to investigate both cases and charge those responsible.
According to Pacific Islands News Association (PINA), on August 25, Ms. Mark along with three fellow journalists risked their lives and travelled to Manam Island to cover a major volcanic eruption and ensure the safety of Madang and Papua New Guinea.
On the way their ship was stopped and captured by unidentified assailants, Mark was also assaulted and suffered facial injuries. The journalists had to walk for an hour to the near village for help in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The President of the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) and Managing Director of PNG National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), Mr Kora Nou said, “It is such early reporting and awareness by our journalists that can trigger quicker evacuation of our citizens, as well as much-needed relief assistance.”
In another incident a Samoan journalist Ms Lani Wendt Young was abused online after she raised issues on social media platforms. Ms. Wendt also reported the matter to both New Zealand Police and Facebook and also stopped using her social media accounts. Ms. Wendt is the Editor of Samoa Planet online and also a member of the Pacific Environment Journalists Network (PEJN).
Mr. Nou in the case of Ms. Wendt stated, “Online abuse is serious and we hope that service providers can put in place controls that would prevent this from happening.”