Saturday, 10 October 2009

St Helena Newspaper Editor Arrested - and then Freed

Strange goings on on St Helena. Mike Olsson, the Editor of the Independendent, was apparently arrested and the offices of St Helena FM raided, because of a breach of confidentiality: Mike had revealed on air information from the accounts of Solomons and Company, one of the main companies that operates on the island. He was subsequently released, apparently without charge.

The Tristan Times describes this operation of the St Helena police as "comparable to going after a fly with a 0.22 rifle. Instead of obliterating the fly they managed to wound press freedom on St Helena - a small Island in the South Atlantic Ocean."

Whether this is simply an isolated heavy handed operation by an overbearing official or, as the Independent itself seems to claim, part of a more sinister pattern of suppression of freedom of the press, I am in no position to judge. The current edition of the Independent is certainly worth reading by anyone who cares about the people of St Helena.

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