Three New Zealand reporters have been detained by Fijian police. The trio, who work for news website Newsroom, were taken into custody in Suva remaining night time after trying to interview a inn developer accused of the “environmental desecration” of a Mamanucas island.
Newsroom co-editor Mark Jennings, investigations editor Melanie Reid and cameraman Hayden Aull were held overnight at the main Suva police station after developer Freesoul real estate accused them of criminal trespass.
Newsroom reported this morning that its co-editor Mark Jennings, investigations editor Melanie Reid and cameraman Hayden Aull are being held at Totogo police station having been accused of criminal trespass by the developer Freesoul real estate.
Newsroom co-editor Tim Murphy informed Morning report the journalists were looking at the environmental damage perpetrated by Freesoul on the island of Mololo.
“We walked into the Freesoul office in Suva with a camera and asked why they had been operating at Malolo with no permits,” she told Newsroom.
It further mentioned that they have not been charged but were likely to undergo police interviews this morning.
Reid said the arrest was “ridiculous”.
“We asked to talk to Freesoul director Dickson Peng. We were told to leave and we did.
“I’ve worked all over the world and never been taken into custody for asking questions in a public office – questions, i might add, that desperately needed to be asked.”
Reid was named reporter of the year at last year‘s Voyager Media Awards.
Her career includes 25 years at TV3.
Jennings is a former head of news at TV3.