29 Jan 2009

Fiji's interim government under more fire for deportation

4:03 pm on 29 January 2009

Negative reactions in Fiji to the deportation of an Australian publisher by the interim military government are continuing to be publicised.

Despite a court dropping contempt of court charges against him last week with his contract due to expire next Thursday, Rex Gardner was still deported.

Fiji womens' rights movement executive Director Virisila Buadromo says this type of intimidation by the interim regime is unacceptable and raises concerns about the lack of freedom in the press.

"The Fiji Womens' Rights movement is both shocked and appalled by the deportation of Mr Gardner. We believe this is a direct attack on free media. The Media Council, the Fiji Law Society, several NGO's..yknow they have come out, as well as other media themselves."

PINA, the Pacific Islands News Association based in Suva, has also voiced its opposition with President Joseph Ealedona saying in a statement that the threat to a free and independent media in Fiji is unacceptable.

And The Movement for Democracy in Fiji group has also voiced their dissatisfaction over the third newspaper publisher and Australian to be deported by the interim Fiji Government in less than a year.