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Timor-Leste’s Minister of Parliament and Communication Francisco Zeronimo. Timor-Leste’s Minister of Parliament and Communication Francisco Zeronimo.

Timor-Leste Minister of Communication warns government media officers against trying to block journalists Featured

DILI:  Timor-Leste’s Minister of Parliament and Communication Francisco Zeronimo on Monday warned any attempt by government media officer’s to block journalists accessing government Ministers would do lasting damage to the public’s right to receive information.

Zeronimo said Timor-Leste respected people’s right to access information and freedom of speech and government were committed to uphold these rights.

"I was very disappointed and furious when I heard that some government media officers had not permitted journalists to interview members of government,” Zeronimo told reporters.

“Media officers cannot dictate which journalists can interview Ministers,” he said.

The comments come amid allegations that government media officers had refused interview-requests from local and internationally-based journalists.

Zeronimo moved to stop the blocking, saying the Ministry of Parliament and Communication would work closely with government media officers to ensure interview requests were respected.

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