|Restore media freedom in Fiji|
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), in a statement issued by Deputy Director Robert Mahoney (13 April 2009), said that, ‘The introduction of blanket censorship during the emergency calls the government’s commitment to restoring democracy into serious doubt. The authorities must remove censors from newsrooms, lift restrictions, free detained journalists, and halt the expulsion of foreign reporters immediately.’
Reporters Without Borders has also stated that ‘The military government is heading dangerously towards a Burmese-style system in which the media are permanently subject to prior censorship and other forms of obstruction.’
The Pacific Freedom Forum, with active members among journalists, editors, producers and journalism academics, will soon be launching an online petition for individuals and organisations worldwide to express continuing strong solidarity with journalists and media organisations in Fiji. The petition will be presented to relevant Pacific leaders on World Press Freedom Day, 3 May.
Women’s groups in Fiji are asking for international support and solidarity to protect media personnel, civilians, and to ensure the resumption of normal media operations. WACC member femLINKPACIFIC is subject to the directives issued under the Public Emergency Regulations 2009 which require all media organisations to comply with the new regulations and to refrain from broadcasting or publishing any news item that is negative in nature or which undermines the Government.
WACC’s worldwide programme of activities includes a focus on communication rights, democratization of the media, and media and gender justice. WACC calls on churches and opinion leaders to express concern for the citizens of Fiji in their struggle to regain freedom of expression and the right to communicate their aspirations for democracy and peace.Dennis Smith, WACC President
Randy Naylor, WACC General Secretary