The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is appalled by reports the Fijian military detained and threatened the editor in chief of the Fiji Daily Post with deportation on December 14, immediately after armed soldiers entered the newspaper offices and held discussions with the editorial board.
According to local reports, armed soldiers took Fiji-born Australian citizen, and Fiji Daily Post editor in chief Dr Robert Wolfgramm, to the military barracks where a senior military officer ordered him and his family deported to Australia.
"This clear attempt to silence an independent voice, the same day as the military attempted to interfere with editorial policy by meeting with the board, has grim implications for press freedom in Fiji," IFJ President Christopher Warren said.
"These strongarm tactics are an unacceptable way of dealing with the independent media, and the IFJ demands the Fijian military put an end to this abuse of power and provide the Fijian people with the plurality of media voices they desperately require," Warren said.
Dr Wolfgramm is reportedly married to a Fijian citizen and was born in Suva, with his ancestral roots in Qamea. Previously he worked in Australian academia teaching political science and sociology for 25 years.
Dr Wolfgramm and human rights organisations are reportedly trying to negotiate with the military leaders to secure his safe and continued residency in Fiji.
For more information please contact IFJ Asia Pacific +61 2 9333 0919
The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in over 115 countries