Journalist detained after breaching visa conditions in Nauru

Yesterday 1 News journalist Barbara Dreaver reported from Nauru that her visa stated she could only report on things related to the Pacific Islands Forum.

Today she was detained when she reported on things not related to the Forum.

1 News (3 September):  Leaders begin arriving at contentious Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru

Leaders have started arriving in Nauru for what’s expected to be one of the most challenging Pacific Islands Forum’s in its 49-year history.

Nauru is home to an Australian detention centre with more than 900 refugees and asylum seekers on the island – about 100 of them children.

The increasingly authoritarian Government has targeted opposition MPs, the judiciary and freedom of speech.

Most countries have only been able to send three journalists and the visa states the journalist can only report on the Pacific Islands forum and related events.

1 News (4 September):  Respected 1 NEWS Pacific correspondent Barbara Dreaver detained by police on Nauru, stripped of accreditation

Dreaver was interviewing a refugee in a café when authorities took exception.

Also: 1 NEWS Pacific correspondent Barbara Dreaver released after being detained by police in Nauru

1 NEWS Pacific correspondent Barbara Dreaver has been released, after being detained by authorities in Nauru while covering the Pacific Islands Forum.

She has been stripped of her media accreditation for the forum.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade told 1 NEWS it’s understood Dreaver may be accused of breaching the conditions of her visa.

Most countries have only been able to send three journalists and the visa states the journalist can only report on the Pacific Islands forum and related events.

Head of News and Current Affairs John Gillespie said it was highly concerning a journalist doing their job had been detained.

Her cameraman says he and Dreaver had visited a refugee camp to speak with a refugee.

Within a minute of starting an interview in the cabin of the refugee’s mother, security knocked and asked if they had permission to film.

I guess Dreaver and 1 News got what they wanted – attention and headlines.

But they can hardly grizzle about Dreaver being detained when it appears she deliberately, blatantly breached the conditions of her visa. She must have known she risked being detained and discredited and deported.

The Australians treat refugees poorly on Nauru, and Nauru authorities have draconian restrictions on journalists, but rules are rules when you visit countries.

This looks like a deliberate stunt by Dreaver.

It may risk limiting what other journalists are able to report on while in Nauru.