Tensions high in Nauru after TVNZ reporter detainment

  • 05/09/2018

Tensions remain high among journalists in Nauru after a TVNZ reporter was detained by police as she interviewed a refugee outside the Pacific Islands Forum [PIF].

TVNZ's Pacific correspondent Barbara Dreaver was released after spending four hours detained by authorities in Nauru on Tuesday.

Newshub political reporter Jenna Lynch said been a little unclear from the beginning if interviewing refugees was outside of the permissions of journalists' visas.

"We were only [permitted] to report on PIF and the surrounding topics, but as part of PIF the president here has spoken about the refugee issue. A lot of people have been speaking about it inside the forum so it's a matter of interpretation as to whether any rules were broken."

Ms Dreaver hasn't had her visa cancelled, but has had her media accreditation for the Pacific Islands Forum stripped.

Ms Lynch says media access has been an ongoing issue in Nauru.

"A lot of Australian media isn't here because the ABC was banned from coming, and in solidarity the press gallery in Australia said 'no, none of us are going'."

Ms Lynch has herself interviewed refugees while reporting on the Pacific Islands Forum, and says they simply want to get out of there.

"They just want someone to listen to them. The stories that we're hearing are absolutely harrowing, particularly with the kids here. They just have no hope, and if you can't give kids hope, what can you give them?"

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has touched down on Nauru, and previously said she might plan to visit some of the refugees during her visit.

However, she is only on the ground for less than 24 hours.