Al Jazeera rejects Nauru criticism over press visas

Network disputes claim of failing to 'go through proper channels' when seeking press visas to report on refugee prison.

    Al Jazeera rejects Nauru criticism over press visas
    Protests against the prison in Nauru continue in neighbouring Australia [David Gray/Reuters]

    Doha, Qatar - Al Jazeera Media Network has denied accusations by the Nauru government that it failed to go through the "proper channels" while trying to obtain press visas to report on the Pacific island's controverial detention centre.

    Asylum-seekers are being detained in Nauru after being refused entry into neighbouring Australia, and reports suggest abuses may have occured on the island and that conditions are "unsafe".

    When Al Jazeera tried to apply for media visas to report from Nauru, the network was told "all media application is not approved". A story about the matter was later televised and put online.  

    Nauru's government said: "Al Jazeera didn't go through proper channels ... [and has received] misinformation" during the attempt to get press visas. 

    Al Jazeera responded to the government's claim noting it had communicated directly with an official at Nauru's migration office who provided visa instructions. However, its Australia bureau later received an email saying, "Media visa is not approved." 

    "As a news organisation Al Jazeera ensures all sides are given the option to be heard," its press office said. "Al Jazeera requests the Nauru government put forward a spokesperson to discuss this case and the detention of refugees on Nauru."

     Nauru government bans all media visits from country

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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