Monday, 14 November 2011

Fiji: Regime media bullying continues with contempt case: PFF

PFF, Rarotonga, COOK ISLANDS -- Fiji’s regime continues to cement its own repressive image with the latest contempt case filed against Fiji Times says regional media freedom monitoring network the Pacific Freedom Forum, or PFF.
Regime Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has taken offense at an article originally published in New Zealand’s Sunday Star-Times newspaper and republished in the Fiji Times on Nov 7th . The article dealt with an interview on Oceania Football staffer Dr Sahu Khan, who is appealing a regime decision disbarring him for a decade over professional misconduct charges. Oceania Football General Secretary Tai Nicholas made comments on the Fiji judiciary which have angered the military regime and offended its Attorney General.
 “Once more we have the Fiji Times bearing the brunt of a regime tantrum against freedom of expression when it disagrees with their ‘journalism of hope’ branding,” says PNG’s Titi Gabi, chair of the PFF.
“Nicholas brings a long legal career to his role in Oceania football. He was expressing his opinion on the state of the judicial system in Fiji and the story seems to have passed the checks of regime censors as per the PER regulations which put the onus on newsroom censors to ensure reportage is screened for ‘offensive’ content,” Gabi says.
PFF repeats its call on the regime to repeal the PER and Media Decree to demonstrate meaningful efforts to restore Fiji to democracy.
“We believe in direct and in mediated complaints processes for complaints over breaches of media ethics and standards is the best way forward,"says PFF co chair Monica Miller of American Samoa.
“The ability to take criticism and respond to it maturely is what pacific communities demand of their leaders. Applied well, this skill would have a tremendous and valuable influence on public perceptions around leadership more powerful that the current practice of targeting media operators such as Fiji Times”, she says.
The contempt case will be heard on Monday, November 28th. --ENDS


CONTACT: PFF Chair Titi Gabi | Freelance Journalist | Papua New Guinea Mail: PO Box 7776, Boroko, NCD, Papua New Guinea | Mob: (675) 7314 3929 | Email: PFF co-Chair Monica Miller | KHJ Radio | American Samoa Mob 684 258-4197 | Office 684 633-7793 | Email: 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.

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