Over the past year Nauru has turned into a tinpot dictatorship, evicting the opposition from Parliament and then jailing them on trumped-up charges, exiling the judiciary, and shutting down Facebook. To prevent scrutiny of this (and Australia's refugee gulag), they have also imposed an $8000 "visa fee" for journalists to visit the island. So what happens if an undeterred journalist actually applies and offers to pay it? You'll never guess:
This week, Lateline put the visa application process to the test.
Via emails, the Nauru visa office first confirmed the fee - $8,000, non-refundable if rejected.
When an application form was requested, I was told that I had been rejected, even before an application was issued.
I then received a second email, stating quote "all media application is not approved" unquote.
On the positive side, it appears that they didn't have to waste $8,000 to find that out. But it suggests that the recent successful crowdfunding effort to get journalists to Nauru will be similarly unsuccessful.