23 May 2007

New Zealand bloggers says offer assistance to bloggers in Fiji

9:08 am on 23 May 2007

A spokesman for New Zealand bloggers say they've offered assistance to bloggers in Fiji because freedom of expression is crucial, particularly when the mainstream media in Fiji is having to exercise self-censorship.

Dr David Haywood says an attempted crackdown by the military on bloggers, who contribute anonymously to websites, is damaging to the reputation of the country and the language the army is using is very threatening.

He says the sort of treatment they've meted out to those who cross them is worrying for anybody concerned about human rights and freedom of speech.

Dr Haywood says they can assist the bloggers by hosting guest articles or they can host the bloggers themselves.

"We've all got individual websites ourselves, we can also host the Fijian bloggers and we can mask the addresses so even if the military regime were to try and block our New Zealand addresses from being accessed in Fiji, we could change them so that they didn't have New Zealand addresses anymore. In fact, we could make them have Fijian addresses."

Dr David Haywood.

The Fiji military has since said it will stop hunting for anti-military bloggers and will end its attempts to shut down their websites.