Sunday, July 31, 2011

[pima.nius] FIJI: Mara bans NZ media from recording community meeting

11:56 AM |


Via PMW. Interesting take on this. The issue of preserving the safety
and right to speak for those attending the meeting seemed to have
escaped the minds of journalists attending -- and sitting in on the
meeting still could have allowed reports back on what was said without
detailing the identities of those saying it.....hmmmm. lis

MARA BANS NZ MEDIA FROM RECORDING COMMUNITY MEETING
http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/pacific-media-watch/fiji-mara-bans-nz-media-recording-community-meeting-7548

WELLINGTON (TV3 News/Pacific Media Watch): Fiji's runaway military
chief Ratu Tevita Mara invited the media to a community function in
Wellington last night - then banned them from asking or recording
anything.

Mara organised the function to allow Fijians living in New Zealand to
ask him questions about his former boss, Commodore Frank Bainimarama's
regime in Fiji.

But on arrival, members of the media, including 3 News, were informed
that a recording ban was in place and they could only sit in on the
meeting.

Media were also told they could not ask questions if they stayed for
the meeting.

Earlier yesterday, at another meeting, Mara condemned media censorship.

"With the media censorship in Fiji, nothing is getting out and the
international community does not know anything about what
[Bainimarama] is doing," he said.

Mara's spokesperson, Pro-Democracy Movement president Sai Lelea, also
said that he "would like to acknowledge the role the press plays in a
free, democratic society".

But last evening, the press was banned from playing any role in
reporting the voices of those Fijians in New Zealand concerned about
the military regime back home.

The reason for the ban was to protect the identities of those who
turned up so they wouldn't be blacklisted by the Fiji government.

Lelea said Fijian people living in New Zealand were scared of being
identified because if what they said got back to Bainimarama, they
might not be allowed back into Fiji.

The meeting is just one of many this week for Mara, who met earlier
today with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He would not say what occurred in the meeting or if there was any outcome.

He will head back to Tonga before making his way around the Pacific to
garner support against Bainimarama's regime.

* Laura Frykberg's Nightline report on Ratu Tevita Mara and the media
- Go to links on Pacific Media Watch www.pacmediawatch.aut.ac.nz

* Comment on this item pmediawa@aut.ac.nz

+++niuswire

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--
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.  *

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