Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fiji Media Facing Crackdown

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports that

Local and international media in Fiji are under increasing pressure and tough restrictions after the reinstatement of Commodore Frank Bainimarama's military regime.

Reports are also coming out of Fiji that the interim government is now restricting the use of the internet as it continues its crackdown on civil liberties.

Commodore Bainimarama's restrictions include stationing military censors in newsrooms and deporting ABC journalist Sean Dorney back to Australia.

Local journalists are being watched by police, amid reports of internet cafes are being forced to shut.

The regime has also ordered the shutdown of ABC Radio transmitters in Fiji.

The situation has been denounced by the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) which has called on the Fiji authorities "to immediately remove its security force presence in newsrooms and to stop its censoring of news items. "The free and peace loving people of Fiji are being silenced by the barrel of the gun and by taking control of the news media and banning news on events taking place and against the regime shows a serious move on the part of the interim government to take back its people to the dark ages."