Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Real Survivor Fiji - A Restricted Press

The Real Survivor Fiji - A Restricted Press

Each by each, Fiji’s democratic institutions are suffering a gradual assault.

Basic freedoms and human rights are being over-run by the all to powerful and illegal acts of an out-of-control Commodore dictator.

The next freedom to suffer is the freedom of the press to operate unhindered.

Now Commodore Frank will try to catch Jell-O by attempting to shut down a website ... an offshore website!!

Excerpts from AAP via Fairfax Digital’s, The Age –

Fiji's coup leader clamps down on media
Australian Associated Press (AAP) - March 8, 2007 - 7:14PM

Fiji's coup leader has warned journalists the military will haul them in for questioning if they are deemed to have filed "irresponsible" reports.

The warning came after the general manager of the Fiji Daily Post and the news director of Fiji Television were detained separately over reports the military objected to.

The Fiji Television report detailed the death of a man after he was allegedly detained and assaulted by soldiers during a drug raid on his village in the east of Vanua Levu, Fiji's second largest island.

Fiji Television has since retracted the story and apologised after the military insisted that soldiers were not involved.

Last week, Fiji Daily Post general manager Mesake Koroi was detained twice for what the military called "anti-military" articles and editorials, the Fijilive online news service reported.

Also on Thursday, the military said it was trying to establish the identities of journalists behind a weblog launched to expose alleged human rights abuses since Commodore Frank Bainimarama's December 5 coup.

Bainimarama, who has appointed himself interim prime minister, told Fijilive that he supported media freedom.

"... it lends credibility not only to the interim government but also to the military, the force behind this interim government and we want it," Fijilive quoted him as saying.

But he issued a warning to journalists, saying there would be consequences for those who made up stories.

Fiji Military spokesman Neumi Leweni confirmed efforts were underway to establish exactly who was producing material posted on the intelligentsiya weblog, established by journalists to document alleged rights abuses following the December coup.

The site was launched in January and has used it to publish allegations against the military regime, including several deaths it says resulted from bashings by soldiers.

The accounts have angered the military, which says it has not been given the chance to respond to the claims.

A statement posted on the blog on Thursday said the development was worrying.

But it added: "Should anything happen to Intelligentsiya, it would only serve to canonise the blogsite if the authors were captured and taken up for `re-education'."

"There is no shortage of Intelly Agents.

"We'll keep you posted ... and we continue to stand firm, fearlessly."

Webmasters, a Fijian website company, said the domain indicated the website was based overseas.

Read All>>

UPDATE 3-09-2007:

This from -

Games up for Intelligentsiya
Army tracks cyber critics
Thursday March 08, 2007

The Fiji Military says it has identified a top educational institution in Suva that is being used as a base to run a controversial website that has been branded by the army as a 'pushover' against the interim regime.

Military spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni confirmed that they have identified a group of people operating from the institution.

"We have made major progress in our efforts to apprehend these people who have been reporting negative things about the military and we have been tracking them for quite some time now," he said.

Major Leweni says that the website recently made defamatory remarks against military and is portraying a negative image of the Interim Government.

"This time they have gone too far and we will be making arrests soon because we know who they are," he added.
Reference & Additional Comments Here>>

Additional Comment Update:

Bainimarama has a go at reporters
NewstalkZB - 11/03/2007 8:32:02

First it was the politicians, now Frank Bainimara is threatening to have a go at Fiji's journalists.

The country's self-appointed Prime Minister says reporters who write what he believes to be false or malicious stories will be taken in for questioning.

He says unbalanced and provocative reporting could create unnecessary fear, anxiety and reaction.

The commodore is unhappy at reports on websites claiming as many as four people have died after being taken into custody by the Fiji military since last year's coup.

He says freedom of the press is not limitless.
Reference Here>>

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