10 Jul 2015

Fiji media amendments are cautiously welcomed

10:51 am on 10 July 2015

Journalists in Fiji can no longer be fined for breaches of the country's controversial Media Industry Development Decree, after the parliament unanimously passed amendments.

Under the amendments, journalists are spared a fine of up to US$472, but their editors, publishers and corporate bodies will still be liable for heavy fines or imprisonment for any breach.

Fiji's Citizen's Constitutional Forum (CCF) has welcomed the amendments, saying they are encouraging for journalists and media rights and freedoms.

However, it says says a climate of censorship still remains in Fiji.

Its programme manager, Ken Cokanasiga, says the amendments do not bring about a significant change to a restrictive media environment, and media organisations will continue to employ self-censorship practices.

The CCF has called for a thorough review of the decree, saying it still imposes obstacles which prevent the country from enjoying a truly free and independent media environment.

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