PORT VILA, 04 JUNE 2020 (VANUATU DAILY POST) — A journalist from the Vanuatu Daily Post was forced to delete all photos of the repatriation aircraft’s arrival in Port Vila from New Zealand (NZ), captured outside the domestic perimeter fence Wednesday.

“Delete all photos. You have no right,” an AVL security told the journalist.

The AVL security demanded that he watched as the journalist deleted the photos.

An officer from AVL previously approached the members of the press and informed them that his boss has agreed that they are allowed to wait just around the security point where they can be able to take photos of the buses as they depart the international terminal area.

Later, a police officer notified the AVL staff a briefing that members of the press should not be allowed.

Earlier this week, Daily Post journalists sent an email to authorities’ concerned seeking permission to take photographs of the arrival of the repatriation flight.

An email from the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) conveyed that media is not authorised to cover the event.

“This is to inform you that the NDMO Director did not give permission to any media — including the Public Information Team at NDMO to cover the arrival of the repatriated citizens today at the airport,” the email stated.

The Daily Post has expressed its disappointment at how members of the media fraternity, including Daily Post, have been treated at the airport, as posted on Daily Post’s Facebook group and via an email to the NDMO.

“Why prevent photographs being taken by journalists and ordering them to delete photos taken when we already have photos being shared on social media of the same repatriated passengers inside the Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft and outside the aircraft?

“Media should be allowed on the tarmac but standing at an acceptable distance, and if NDMO wants us not to show faces on photos or videos, we can reach an understanding on that.

“The media is a partner in this whole exercise to document it and put out the right information to the people and should not be excluded.

“Let us all work together to get the right information to the people as we have done in the beginning of the State of Emergency until now,” he said…PACNEWS