6 May 1998

Alert

"Custom" compensation claim linked to raid on editor's home


Incident details

Carol Colville

journalist(s)

harassed


(PINA/IFEX) - According to PINA, Carol Colville, editor of the weekly
"Solomon Voice" newspaper in Honiara, Solomon Islands, had her home raided
by a group of men in the early hours of the morning of 3 May 1998. The raid
followed reports in the paper on controversial land allocations. According
to Colville, during the raid, the men demanded to see the paper's publisher,
searched personal belongings and took cash and goods.




Colville said people had been claiming traditional "custom" payments of
SI$20,000 ($US4,200) as compensation for the "Solomon Voice" allegedly
wrongly using the names of businessman Rex Fera and Prime Minister
Bartholomew Ulufa'alu. According to PINA members in Honiara, the land
allocations in Ulufa'alu's constituency were made by the former government,
but the "Solomon Voice" mistakenly linked them to Ulufa'alu. They said the
prime minister was not in any way involved in the raid on Colville's home
but had called for the "Solomon Voice" to correct its report.


Police are investigating the incident at Colville's home.


Background Information


Solomon Islands has a free news media. "Custom" payments are a traditional
local form of settling disputes or righting wrongs.









Source

Pacific Islands News Association
Level 2, 46 Gordon Street, Damodar Centre
Private Mail Bag, Suva
Fiji Islands
pina (@) connect.com.fj
Fax:+679 3317055
Solomon Islands
 
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