Federation of Journalists (IFJ) urges all members of Fiji’s
interim military government to ensure that the country’s media is not impeded
in reporting on a controversial High Court decision on October 9 which proclaims
2006 military coup to be “not unlawful”.
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has warned Fiji’s media
to be “careful of what they print,
air or post”, saying they could be
held liable for contempt if they publish comments made by ousted prime minister
Laisenia Qarase last week regarding his dissatisfaction with the court’s
decision, according to Pacific Media Watch.
Yet again, the IFJ calls on Fiji’s interim Government, which
was installed after a military coup led by Frank Bainimarama in 2006, to honour its promise
in February to ensure “media freedom is secured and guaranteed” as a key aspect
of Fiji’s return to political and democratic stability.
“Any attempt by Fiji’s Government or authorities to
coax or threaten the media in regard to reports on the High Court decision is a
contradiction of high-level commitments to press freedom and freedom of
Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
“It is imperative that all people in Fiji are able
to fulfill their right to access free and independent reporting and public commentary
from all sides regarding the court’s landmark decision,”
The IFJ encourages all media outlets in Fiji to stand by the
principles of independent political reporting to fulfill their duty to report
in the public interest and to ensure the public right to know is upheld and
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
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