Rukshan Fernando arrives in New Zealand after his passport was flagged trying to board a Qantas flight in Melbourne.
Fernando says check-in staff were perplexed when they could not check-in the Australian journalist due to a New Zealand immigration alert.
“The moment they scanned my passport at Melbourne airport, the staff were like we don’t know what’s going on, we’ve never seen this before”, Fernando said in a video as he arrived in Aukland.
Over eleven thousand people signed a petition after immigration flagged another Australian reporter, refusing Avi Yemini entry into the country.
Yemini has begun the legal process of appealing the immigration decision to the New Zealand courts.
Meanwhile, a small Rebel team, including Fernando, will be on the ground in Wellington to bring the other side of the story.
“I think it’s very important that we continue to raise a spotlight on these types of issues. We’ve seen just how easy it is for countries like New Zealand, liberal democracy, to deny journalists access and entry to report on these matters”, Fernando added.