Fiji's Extended Censorship Alarms IFJ


The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns

the Fiji military regime’s

extension of strict media censorship and emergency regulations, saying the regime’s

effort to stamp out public discussion is undermining all fundamental rights of

the people of Fiji.


Under the emergency rules, initially

imposed in April, the media is forbidden to publish or broadcast anything

negative about the regime. Censors are now posted in all media outlets.


“The attempt by Fiji’s military leaders to eliminate any

opportunity for free expression are denying journalists their right to report

in the public interest and the right of the people of Fiji to know what is

going on in their society,” IFJ General

Secretary Aidan White said.


Regime spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel

Neumi Leweni said yesterday that the Defence Ministry would prolong the

regulations today by 30 days, according to a report on Coup Four and a Half, a

blog dedicated to providing information from Fiji.


“The absence of politics from the

national agenda . . . is contributing positively to the peace and stability of

the nation,” he said in a statement. 


On April 10, President Ratu Josefa Iloilo abrogated Fiji’s Constitution

and reappointed Frank Bainimarama as prime minister, following an appeals court

ruling that a 2006 coup led by Bainimarama was illegal. Bainimarama immediately

imposed emergency regulations for 30 days, which were extended in May until

June 10.


The IFJ is deeply concerned that the regime intends to

maintain its strict censorship for the longer term, after Leweni is reported to

have already warned local journalists to be mindful of the emergency

regulations if they attend a long-scheduled meeting of the Asia Pacific

Institute for Broadcast Development in Suva

on July 20-23.


The IFJ appeals to the international community to continue to urge the Bainimarama

regimeto end all media censorship in Fiji and to reinstitute the rights

of people to access information and to speak freely, in accordance with the

United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.



further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919


The IFJ represents

over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries