CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Nauru has been accused of restricting press freedom by banning an Australian state-owned broadcaster from attending an international forum that the tiny Pacific atoll-nation will host in September.
Media have a particular interest in Nauru because Australia pays the impoverished population of fewer than 10,000 people to house asylum seekers who attempt to reach Australian shores by boat. Rights groups have criticized conditions that asylum seekers endure there.
Australia's Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery on Wednesday threatened to boycott the Pacific Islands Forum leaders' summit in Nauru unless Australian Broadcasting Corp. was allowed to attend.
Nauru announced on Monday that the ABC was the only media organization banned from the forum. Nauru listed among its reasons the ABC's "blatant interference in Nauru's domestic politics" and "continued biased and false reporting."