Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Wallis and Futuna22 March 2002

King of Wallis forces newspaper to close

Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières - RSF) deplored the closure of the weekly newspaper Te Fenua Fo’ou by communal police of the king of Wallis, in the French Pacific territory of Wallis and Futuna, and called for it to be allowed to publish freely. "Whatever the king’s communal authority, it does not give him the right to attack freedom of information," said RSF secretary-general Robert Ménard in a letter to the territory’s French prefect and administrator, Alain Waquet. "The arbitrary closure of a newspaper is a serious matter in a democracy and we ask you to intervene to ensure compliance with French law."

image 200 x 300 (JPEG)  The newspaper did not appear on 22 March after pressure from King ("Lavelua") Tomasi Kulimoetoke. The previous day, the king’s communal police had demanded that the paper’s editor, Michel Bodineau, resign and close the paper because he had defied the king’s orders by printing an editorial about a scandal involving the royal family. The affair centred on Make Pilioko, a local elected official sentenced in 1999 to a year in prison and five years deprivation of civil and family rights for having embezzled public funds. She had taken refuge in the royal palace. After recovering her rights, she ran for election to the territorial assembly earlier this month but was not elected. "The king criticised me for mentioning the case in an editorial," said Bodineau, "but I think people have the right to know certain things." When he refused to resign, the king’s police seized a computer hard drive and a modem and closed the newspaper. Bodineau has filed a complaint for "theft" and "obstructing press freedom."

  In this country
29 May - France
Regrettable decision by appeal court to lift ban on magazine only if offending photo is covered up
12 May - France
TV reporter cleared of inciting teenager in body piercing “suspension”
2 April - France
“Dangerous trend” condemned after anti-crime unit questions four journalists over Sarkozy video
26 March - France
Two website journalists summoned for questioning about Sarkozy video
4 March - France
Anger over new case of journalists being treated as “police auxiliaries or even criminals”

in the annual report
France - Annual Report 2008
France - Annual report 2007
France - 2006 Annual report

in the annual report
Europe press releases
4 June - Kosovo
Rrokum TV station still excluded by national broadcasting network
2 June - Ukraine
Potential witness’s death deals severe blow to probe into journalist’s murder
2 June - Turkey
Woman journalist held for past five weeks on baseless charge of link to armed group
2 June - Russia
Journalist seeks asylum in Finland after being convicted for prison torture articles
28 May - Azerbaijan
Court breaks law by refusing to release journalist on health grounds

5 February 2009 - Bulgaria
“Resignation or resistance, Bulgaria’s embattled press hesitates”
28 January 2009 - Russia
Fact-finding visit : Moscow double murder may have been linked to November attack on local newspaper editor
27 June 2008 - Turkey
Investigation report into the detention of journalist Haci Bogatekin, imprisoned for more than two months and facing ten and a half years in prison

Sign the petitions
Jusuf Ruzimuradov

Europe archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives