A female journalist from the Samoa Observer was threatened and assaulted in the presence of police officers while covering a traffic accident outside of Apia, page the island nation’s capital.
The journalist along with two other female colleagues from the Samoan newspaper was taking photos of the crash site when the driver of the truck demanded them to stop and delete the photos they have taken.
The driver then allegedly reached into the journalists’ vehicle and grabbed one of the journalist’s in the arm in attempt to take the camera. The driver further threatened to retaliate if he sees the photos on the paper.
While the man threatened and assaulted the journalists, police officers on the scene, according to the journalists, did nothing.
The Pacific Freedom Forum has urged the Samoan police department to investigate the officers who failed to intervene.
The country’s Prime Minister told Radio New Zealand that Samoa has the “safest and the freest media in the Pacific” despite the incident.
The Samoa Observer reports that despite the Prime Minister’s message he has encouraged the police department to only communicate to the media via email or through press releases.