Sunday, May 29, 2011

[pima.nius] Let Fiji media report freely -- PFF renews call on Fiji regime

11:44 AM |


via PFF



Colleagues, the www.pacificfreedomforum.org link has been updated with
the text below. Thanks for your onward sharing and publication via
relevant networks.

Rarotonga, Cook Islands--Regional media monitoring body the Pacific
Freedom Forum has renewed its call on the Fiji regime to lift the
Public Emergency Regulations which were to have been replaced by the
2010 introduction of the Media Decree.
Both the decree and the continued PER have kept journalists from
reporting freely on news which isn't passed by the regime censors,
such as the defection this month of Fiji's Lieutenant-Colonel Ratu
Tevita Mara to Tonga.
Fiji-based journalists were amongst the first to find out about the
defection but had to wait more than 24 hours until a regime press
conference 'announced' the news.
Meanwhile the story had already broken outside of Fiji.
Editors in Fiji have been told to stop reporting statements from
Tevita Mara as a 'matter of national security' and some individuals
have been warned that commentary on social networks such as Facebook
is being monitored.
"We commend those colleagues whose resourcefulness and investigative
approaches around the gag laws have helped to reveal the facts of the
matter to Fiji's people," says PFF co-chair Susuve Laumaea of PNG.
"The draconian nature of Fiji's media gag laws have been shown up by
the Mara saga. If any Pacific nation has to get the first news on its
own activities from outside journalists when the best journalists to
do the job are already in-country, that's a sure sign that something
needs fixing," he says.
Fiji's media decree has effectively shut down independent and free
media in the country, and despite earlier promises has not replaced
the Public Emergency Regulations which put censors into newsrooms
across the country after a military takeover in April 2006.
"If the regime didn't censor and restrict the media in Fiji, the world
wouldn't have to depend on outside media and social networks for their
information," says PFF co-chair Monica Miller, of American Samoa.
"Pacific media are standing in solidarity to commend the perseverance
of Fiji-based colleagues trying to do their jobs under needlessly
difficult circumstances. We call on the regime to recognise that the
path to sustainable democracy must involve free and fearless reporting
of the facts from all sides of a story."--ENDS

Note to Editors:
Lieutenant-Colonel Ratu Tevita Mara, also known as Roko Ului, was
charged with making seditious comments and appeared in the Suva
Magistrates Court on May 4. He appeared with co-accused Lt-Col Pita
Driti who is charged with making seditious statements and inciting
mutiny.
They were released on bail to appear in court again on June 1, with
conditions to report to a police station and surrender their passport,
which Ratu Tevita Mara had done. A fortnight later, he made his way to
Tonga by boat and remains there as a guest of the King -- a family
relative. The witch hunt in Fiji for those who aided his flight from
his homeland continues and he has been classed as a fugitive from
justice by his former Military commander, regime leader Col Frank
Bainimarama.

LINKS
Stories and related coverage : http://pacific.scoop.co.nz/page/2/

CONTACT: PFF interim Chair Susuve Laumaea | Sunday Chronicle Newspaper
| Papua New Guinea Mobile: 675-684 5168 | Office: 675-321-7040 |
Email: susuve.laumaea@interoil.com PFF interim co-Chair Monica Miller
| KHJ Radio | American Samoa Mob 684 258-4197 | Office 684 633-7793 |
Email: monica@khjradio.com The Pacific Freedom Forum are a regional
and global online network of Pacific media colleagues, with the
specific intent of raising awareness and advocacy of the right of
Pacific people to enjoy freedom of expression and be served by a free
and independent media. We believe in the critical and basic link
between these freedoms, and the vision of democratic and participatory
governance pledged by our leaders in their endorsement of the Pacific
Plan and other commitments to good governance. In support of the
above, our key focus is monitoring threats to media freedom and
bringing issues of concern to the attention of the wider regional and
international community.

--
Lisa Williams-Lahari
Media Freelancer
Regional Coordinator, IFJ Pacific Media for Democracy and Human Rights
Project
Ph Mobile: 677-7574230
Skype: lisalahari

* "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that
matter."-- Martin Luther King Jr.  *

--
Thanks for being part of the "Pacific Freedom Forum" and supporting press freedom in our region. As a member, you can send emails to mediafreedom@googlegroups.com
Leaving? Send an email to
mediafreedom+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com

Online: http://groups.google.com/group/mediafreedom?hl=en?hl=en

DISCLAIMER: Please be warned. This is an unmoderated list. Thanks for understanding that UNLESS stated otherwise, responsibility for all content and language used rests with individual members and should not be confused as the endorsed view of the Pacific Freedom Forum.



--
----------------------------------------
pacific islands media association
pima.nius@gmail.com
aotearoa, new zealand
----------------------------------------
The pima.nius googlegroup is a facility for discussion and distributing information regarding the Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA). Content sent by this googlegroup are forwarded from various networks and media publications to keep you informed about aspects of the media industry. 

These emails are unedited and discussions made through this googlegroup are unmoderated. Announcements made through this googlegroup do not constitute endorsement for the organisations, individuals or opinions featured. Please check the integrity of organisations and individuals before exchanging personal information with them. 

--
----------------------------------------
pacific islands media association
pima.nius@gmail.com
aotearoa, new zealand
----------------------------------------
The pima.nius googlegroup is a facility for discussion and distributing information. Content sent by this googlegroup are forwarded from various networks and media publications.
 
DISCLAIMER: These emails are unedited and discussions made through this googlegroup are unmoderated. Announcements made through this googlegroup do not constitute endorsement for the organisations, individuals or opinions featured. Please check the integrity of organisations and individuals before exchanging personal information with them.
 
- - - - - - - - -
comment here:
http://groups.google.com/group/pima-nius/topics?hl=en
 
send an email comment here:
pima-nius@googlegroups.com
 
unsubscribe:
pima-nius+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com
 
more options
http://groups.google.com/group/pima-nius?hl=en?hl=en
 
- - - - - - - - -

0 comments: