Kiwis express concern as media REFUSES to report on Avi Yemini Interpol leak

New Zealanders show support for independent reporting

Kiwis express concern as media REFUSES to report on Avi Yemini Interpol leak
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New Zealanders have taken to social media and blog sites to express their concern for the country's free press as mainstream media outlets refuse to report on an explosive Interpol leak.

The nation's newspapers and broadcast media have remained silent after a leak showed Wellington Interpol advising its Canberra counterpart of its wishes to stop Rebel News reporter Avi Yemini and independent journalist Rukshan Fernando from entering the country to report on an anti-government protest last week.

Rebel News has been inundated with comments of support for Yemini since the news broke on Monday.

The Interpol communication stated that NZ Police were urgently seeking "any information regarding criminal convictions or any information tending to show they are individuals of bad character, associated to criminal groups and individuals or Far-Right extremism groups."

One of New Zealand's biggest and longest-running blogs, Kiwiblog, received over 100 comments from readers on its post sharing the news, showing a significant public concern with how the situation was handled by NZ authorities.

"I’m not afraid of ideas. I’ll make a judgment based on you expressing them. It’s a duty of Government to protect the unpopular ideas," said one comment.

"Did our cops not notice that Victoria Police were forced to apologise to Avi and to acknowledge that he is a journalist and their harassment of him was illegal?," said another.

"Reading between the lines; seems like political and state media pressure on the police. Clearly someone was concerned enough to leak the emails," added a third.

Users posting to group blog website The BFD also expressed their concerns over the leak.

"Good gracious, all this is such an uphill struggle. The ability of the administration to just ignore things - refute the context of that question - and then damned well get away with it is so wearying," read one comment.

Indepdent broadcaster Sean Plunket of The Platform asked NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern about the leak in a press conference on Tuesday in a room full of reporters, yet none have followed up on the story.

Plunket later invited Yemini onto his program to discuss the incident in detail, concluding that the authorities could quickly clear up the authenticity of the leak if they wanted.

"Having talked to Avi, I think there are questions to be answered here, I don't think there is any doubt about that," he said.

WATCH AVI'S EXPLOSIVE REPORT:

Jacinda Ardern's Labour government provides the New Zealand media sector with a $55m fund for 'public interest journalism'.

Over 21,000 people have already signed a petition to let Yemini cross the New Zealand border.

 

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