(RSF/IFEX) - In a letter to the president of Kiribati (an island in Micronesia), Teburoro Tito, RSF protested against the refusal to grant accreditation to Michael Field, an Agence France-Presse (AFP) journalist based in New Zealand. The organisation asked the president to go back on his decision and to grant accreditation to the journalist so that he could cover the Forum of Pacific Countries Summit. Robert Ménard, RSF's secretary-general, asked the president to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which among other things protects freedom of expression.
According to information collected by RSF, at the beginning of September 2000, the government of Kiribati refused to grant accreditation to Field, an AFP journalist, for the Forum of sixteen Pacific countries Summit, to be held on Tarawa Island (the main island of the archipelago) in October. In December 1999, the journalist was banned and forced to leave the island, after an article on the problem of unhealthy conditions in Tarawa.