Journalist Detained in Fiji for Investigative Business Reporting


The International Federation of

Journalists (IFJ) joins with the Pacific Freedom Forum (PFF) in condemning the

detention of a Fiji Times journalist by

military officers for his investigative


Fiji Times journalist Felix

Chaudhary, 41, who is based in Lautoka, on Fiji’s

main island of Viti Levu, was apprehended by military

officers on February 18 when he was reporting on an event where the country’s

regime leader Frank Bainimarama was present, PFF reported.


During his one-hour detention Chaudhary

was told the regime was unhappy with the reports appearing under his byline on

the sugar and aviation industries in Fiji. The journalist was not

physically harmed in the incident.


Chaudhary is the first journalist

known to have been detained in 2011, though the practice has been common since April

2009, when Public Emergency Regulations were put in place. The regulations were

to be replaced by a new enforcement body, the Media Industry Development

Authority, MIDA, which is backed by decree. However the regulations remain in



“This crude attempt by Fiji’s

military regime to intimidate and threaten a journalist who is doing his job reporting

matters of public interest is of significant concern,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said.


“The military’s reliance upon the

Public Emergency Regulations to harass journalists is intolerable and does not

go unnoticed by the international media community.”


The IFJ joins with PFF in condemning

the continued use of the Public Emergency Regulations which allow the military

to arbitrarily detain and question civilians, and stands in solidarity with our

colleagues in Fiji

who comply with codes of journalistic ethics of an international standard under

extreme circumstances.



For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919



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