IFJ Cautiously Welcomes End of Public Emergency Regulations in Fiji


The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) cautiously welcomes the announcement on New

Year’s Day by Fiji’s

authorities that the country’s Public Emergency Regulations will end on January



During his New Year’s

address to the nation, Commodore Frank Bainimarama announced that the

regulations, in place since April

2009, will be removed to allow preparations for the drafting of a new

national constitution.



the “temporary” Public Emergency Regulations imposed by Fiji’s

authorities, the regime and its authorities decide what fair,

balanced and quality journalism is. The decree allows

officers authorised by a government appointed media authority and tribunal to

enter newsrooms and media offices to seize any documentation, materials or

equipment on the basis of vaguely defined complaints, or even where no formal

complaint has been laid.



of news reports have been censored by the tribunal since the regulations were

introduced. Self-censorship is also widespread in Fiji as a result of the laws.


In June

2010, authorities permanently installed the regulation’s censorship regime

by enacting the Media Industry

Development Decree.


Workers’ rights have also

been under attack from Fiji’s

authorities. The Essential National Industries Employment Decree on September

7, 2011 and the Essential National Industries and Designated Corporations

Regulations on September 8, 2011 diminish workers’ rights and remove many of the

conditions guaranteed by International Labour Organisation conventions ratified

by Fiji. 


It is unclear if Bainimarama’s commitment to end the

Public Emergency Regulations also covers those elements of the regulations now

enshrined in these other laws and decrees.


“The IFJ welcomes Fiji

authorities’ promise to end the Public Emergency Regulations, which it imposed

‘temporarily’ in April 2009,” IFJ

Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park



“However, we remain

cautious until the regime of censorship currently enacted through the Media

Industry Development Decree is also repealed.”


“Until the removal of the

media decree, journalists working in Fiji will continue to come under

threat from the government, and press freedom will continue to be undermined.”


“The IFJ also encourages Fiji’s authorities to immediately repeal the

Essential National Industries Employment Decree, and its associated

regulations, and implement workplace legislation in line with the ILO

conventions ratified by Fiji.”



For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919



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