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RAROTONGA, Cook Islands, Thursday 11 September 2014:
THERE is no place for intimidation or violence against journalists anywhere in the world, the Pacific Freedom Form said today.
Responding to death threats against two Fiji Sun journalists, the PFF said the action was despicable and cowardly.
"The cornerstone of any democracy is a free and vibrant media," says PFF Chair Titi Gabi.
"This is as important in the Pacific as anywhere, but especially in Fiji now as it approaches elections."
Two women journalists received the threats after reporting that an opposition politician had pulled out of a TV debate.
PFF is equally concerned at threats from either opposition or government supporters .
"We condemn the threats and urge sensitivity and sensibility at this important time in Fiji's history," says Gabi, based in Port Moresby.
She said PFF joined concerns expressed by the Fiji Media Association and the International Federation of Journalists.
PFF Co-Chair Monica Miller said the threats reflect a society where media coverage of relatively routine political events are no longer seen as normal.
"The military regime must bear some responsibility for electoral tension, because they have created an environment where freedom of speech including by the news media is seen by some as deserving death."
Fiji Broadcasting Corporation reporter Vosita Kotoiwasawasa, and Fiji Sun West Editor, Jyoti Pratibha, received the threats after they reported that a party leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa, had pulled out of a debate with interim Prime Minister Frank Voreqe Bainimarama.
Fiji Sun: Death threats for women journalists
Pacific Media Centre: Media association protests over death threats against reporters
Fiji journalists threatened days out of first national election in a decade
Death threats against Fiji journalists condemned
PACIFIC FREEDOM FORUM
PFF CHAIR | Titi Gabi | PNGEdge.com | Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea | PO Box 7776, Boroko, NCD, PNG | Mob: +675 70686875 | email@example.com
PFF CO-CHAIR | Monica Miller | KHJ Radio | Pago Pago, America Samoa | Mob: +684 258 4197 | Office: +684 633 7793 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pacific Freedom Forum is 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.