Nauru President says Govt will protect women and children through internet blocks
The President of Nauru says
criticism from overseas over the country's move to protect children
on the internet is irrelevant and hypocritical, noting that some of
these same people have previously called on more protection for
President Baron Waqa said the Australian and New Zealand media
should also remember that Nauru is a sovereign nation and its
decisions - including the recent move to block certain internet
sites - should be respected as such.
He said it was disappointing that while critics pushed for the
protection of refugee children, they didn't seem to care about
"This decision has been made by Government to protect its people
from the abuse of the internet which has seen vulnerable
individuals, especially young Nauruan girls, being maliciously
targeted, harassed and even bullied," he explained.
"It is part of the Government's efforts to curb the glorification
of criminal activities and offences against Nauruan women and
children through the posting of distressing images and footage of
these individuals in compromising and dehumanising
He said the decision was not sudden, "but has been made over a
period of several months of investigation, consultation and
outreach to sites to rectify what is a gross neglect of protection
afforded to the Nauruan people".
"Sites that are solely set up for the purpose of distributing
explicit, obscene and pornographic contents will be permanently
"Other sites - including Facebook - that have been abused by
malicious users are under a temporary block until the necessary
protection mechanisms are in place to ensure that Nauruans are not
left exposed and vulnerable to the actions of criminals, sexual
perverts and cyber bullies.
"All other sites remain active including social media sites with
no interference to internet services."
The President said it was wrong to link the issue of refugees to
this move, as refugees have "plenty of email and social media
"I am surprised by comments made by members of the Opposition who
seem more interested in politicising the issue and pushing their
own agendas, than the welfare and protection of our people."
Criticism from "self-appointed human rights activists overseas" is
nothing more than an attempt to bully a small Pacific nation, Mr
He said the Government understands that these restrictions have
caused disruptions to those who use the sites responsibly and for
legitimate purposes, and is working hard with stakeholders to
resolve this issue.