Anti-Corruption Reporter Targeted In PNG

Anti-corruption reporter targeted in PNG

The Age (Melbourne)
June 1, 2007 – 5:44PM

A journalist who penned reports accusing high-ranking PNG government officials of corruption has narrowly escaped a gang who invaded her home armed with a hand grenade, guns and an axe.

The gang members called out the woman's name as they stormed into her home in Port Moresby on Tuesday.

A few nights earlier, a man had held a gun to the reporter's head as she left a city nightspot, challenging her about reports she'd written for Papua New Guinea's Post-Courier newspaper.

The same man was among those involved in the home invasion, the woman told the newspaper.

The woman was able to escape with her baby through the back door of her flat. Her relatives arrived soon after and fought with the men who eventually fled, but not before stealing some electronic equipment.

The woman has since moved from her residential compound to a secure location with her family. Both attacks have been reported to police.

A Post-Courier executive said it was believed the reporter was targeted over her recent stories about the alleged sale of visas and citizenship by immigration officials, alleged fraud involving money for an airport project in Western Province, and alleged corruption within PNG's National Intelligence Organisation.

PNG Media Council President Peter Aitsi said the home invasion was cowardly.

“It is an absolute shame when a small minority start attacking journalists and individuals in their own homes,” he said.

“This attack symbolises an attack on democracy itself.

“We will not take this matter lying down and we will employ the full force and processes of the law to expose the rot that is being protected by these mercenaries,” Aitsi said.

2007 AAP