ON POLICE RADAR - Solomon Star News


29 May 2020
Wendy Amangongo (L) and Acting Police Commissioner Mostyn Mangau (R).

Commentator probed 
over published articles



POLICE are investigating several people including a prominent female commentator Wendy Amangongo for articles published in recent weeks on both print and social media.

Acting Police Commissioner Mostyn Mangau confirmed this during his weekly press conference yesterday.

“There are reports received and investigators are still investigating that matter,” Mangau told reporters.

When asked by a reporter if police are focusing on Amangongo’s articles because she breached certain regulations under the State of Emergency, Mangau said the investigation is not only on Amangongo but several others.

“What we are investigating here is to find out if there is a breach on the regulation issued under the State of Public Emergency that can incite illegal activities, riots, or fear amongst our people,” Mangau added.

He said if evidence are available under the regulation they can then proceed to lay the charges but if there were no evidence available to instigate charges then they will analyse that.

Asked again if police are cornered to try and silence people to do their work, Mangau explained that the state of public emergency regulation clearly defined it as an offence if you pass on any information that will incite illegal activities, cause riot, disharmony, fear or misleading people.

“… so police are mandated to look at such issue, investigate it and ensure that the regulation is enforced,” Mangau further added.

The Solomon Star understands the directive for police to investigate Amangongo and others came from the Attorney General’s Chamber.

Responding to the police investigation, Amangongo said it appears to her that the government is using the excuse of COVID-19 State of Public Emergency to intimidate her and interfere with her constitutional rights.

“I sense the police are under undue influence by the Prime Minister’s Office,” she told the Solomon Star. 

"I will continue to exercise my constitutional right to freedom of expression,” she added.

Amangongo said section 12 of the national constitution offers her the protection to express her views.

Amangongo has penned several articles in recent weeks, some of which were critical of government actions and decisions, which she published both on print and social media.