The Pacific Islands News Association, PINA, has called on Pacific Islands Forum countries to take a strong stand and demand that the Fiji military regime respect media freedom.
It has condemned the actions of the regime in censoring news items being produced by its regional news service, Pacnews, and wants a strong regional stand on what it calls the ongoing flagrant abuse of democratic rights in Fiji.
Don Wiseman reports:
"The PINA President, Papua New Guinea's Joseph Ealedona, says it is a very sad day when the flagship of the Pacific islands media news service is bullied by the military regime and told to stop sending out negative political news about the situation in Fiji. He says Pacnews is no longer carrying any stories on the Fiji crisis and he says the regime has gone overboard with the censorship. He says PINA is calling on the Fiji President Ratu Josefa Iloilo to restore media freedom for the sake of the Fiji people, who are quiet due to the intimidating tactics of the Fiji military. Mr Ealedona wants the region to focus on the Fiji ban during next month's Media and Press Freedom day. He says PINA will consider the question of moving its office from Fiji at its conference in July."